Edward Christopher "Ed" Sheeran is a famous English singer and songwriter, who has won the hearts of people all over the world with his melodic voice. He is an occasional rapper and actor as well. His popularity increased especially after the release of his first album ‘+’ and after a guest appearance was made by him on Taylor Swift's fourth studio album 'Red.’ He began recording music in 2004. His first work 'Spinning Man' was released independently. After moving to London from Suffolk in 2008, he used to play in small venues and also released the EP ‘You Need me’ in 2009. While in London, he also auditioned for a British musical drama television series ‘Britannia High.’ His debut album '+' was released in September 2011. Having sold 791,000 copies in the UK by the end of the year, it stood as the ninth bestselling album there. It was also reviewed positively by critics. The next year he won the 2012 Brits awards for Best British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act of the Year. His songs slowly started gaining more popularity, and were widely appreciated by the public. Sheeran's song, ‘Give Me Love’, got featured in the episode ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ of the well-known American TV series ‘The Vampire Diaries.’ It was also featured in an episode of the sitcom ‘Cougar Town.’
Childhood & Early Life
Ed Sheeran was born on 17 February 1991 in Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK, and started showing interest in music from quite a young age. His father John was an art curator and a lecturer while his mother Imogen was a cultural publicist who later became a jewelry designer.
From an early age, Ed started playing the guitar as well as singing in the local church. His father also used to take him to various musical concerts which inspired him to a great extent.
According to him, Van Morrison's studio album ‘Irish Heartbeat’ inspired him the most, and made him decide to choose a career in music. Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan were some of the people who inspired him in his early years.
He studied in Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham. Later, he also studied music with the help of ‘Access to Music’, a UK-based independent training provider. He joined the National Youth Theatre when he was a teenager.
From his teenage days he had started recording CDs and selling them. At the age of 14, he released ‘The Orange Room’ and also ‘Spinning Man’, both regarded as important works of his early years.
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Ed Sheeran released two albums: one named after himself in 2006, and another one named ‘Want Some?’ in 2007. In 2008, he moved to London. He usually played at small venues, and later he also entered into collaboration with Leddra Chapman, an English songwriter and musician. He also spent some time at the reputed Academy of Contemporary Music, in Guildford, Surrey, England.
He went to Los Angeles in April 2010 for a poetry night. After his performance, Jamie Foxx, the famous American actor and comedian, who was quite impressed by him, allowed him to use his recording studio. Slowly Sheeran’s fan-base started growing both online and offline. Later he self-released two Extended Plays: ‘Ed Sheeran: Live at the Bedford’ and ‘Songs I wrote with Amy.’
He released another Extended Play ‘No. 5 Collaborations Project’ in January 2011. It also starred rappers such as James Davlin and Richard Cowie. It received mixed reviews from critics but was popular with the listeners.
In April 2011, he made an appearance in the TV music show ‘Later… with Jools Holland’ to perform his debut single, ‘The A Team’ which was released later as a digital download. It became a huge hit, selling over 58,000 copies in the first week itself. It also became one of the top ten songs in several countries such as Australia, Japan, Norway and New Zealand.
His second single ‘You need me, I don’t need You’, which released in August 2011, also became quite popular. His third single ‘Lego Single’ did well too, reaching the top five in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK. It also entered the top 50 in several other countries.
It was after the release of his album ‘+’ (plus) on September 12, 2011, that he rose to international fame. It stood at number one in several countries. Within six months, it sold 1,021,072 copies in the UK alone. It also reached the top five in several countries. His amazing performance impressed Taylor Swift, and she later worked with him on a single ‘Everything Has Changed.’
He released his second album ‘x’ (multiply) on 23 June 2014. It featured tracks produced by the well-known American record producer Rick Rubin and professional rapper Benny Blanco. It peaked at number one not only in the UK Albums Chart but in the US Billboard 200 as well.
In December 2016, he announced that he was returning with his third album ‘÷’ (divide), which would be released on 3 March 2017.
The Extended Play by Ed Sheeran, ‘No. 5 Collaborations Project’, can be regarded as one of his important works. He wanted the record to be free from ‘songs about girls’ and thus featured tracks on topics such as a car crash, saying goodbye to someone, etc.
Sheeran’s debut studio album ‘+’, which was released in September 2011, is one of the most significant works of his career so far. It also marked his commercial breakthrough as all his previous Extended Plays were released independently. The album is strongly influenced by the hip-hop duo Nizlopi as well as musician Damien Rice.
The album ‘+’ was also reviewed positively by critics and it topped the UK Albums Chart. It sold over 102,000 copies in the first week alone. In the UK, it became the eighth bestselling album of the decade. It also became popular in other countries, and led to the growth of Sheeran’s popularity worldwide.
His second album ‘x’ (multiply) is another one of his most popular works. It released worldwide on 23 June 2014 through Asylum Records and Atlantic Records. Like his previous album, it also became an international hit, topping both the UK Albums Chart and US Billboard 200, as well standing at the first position in many countries. As of 2016, the album has sold more than 8.6 million copies all over the world, becoming one of the bestselling albums ever.
Awards & Achievements
Ed Sheeran has received numerous awards for his performances. They include the ‘British Artist of the Year’ award in 2014, at the BBC’s annual pop music awards and the ‘American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist’ in 2015.
Personal Life & Legacy
Ed Sheeran dated Nina Nesbitt, the Scottish singer and songwriter, in 2012. She was the subject in two of his songs ‘Nina’ and ‘Photograph.’
After their break up in 2014, he started dating Athina Andrelos. The broke up in February 2015, and later, he began dating his high school friend Cherry Seaborn.
He has purchased a farm in Suffolk, England, which he has also renovated. As stated by him, he plans to raise his family there.
In June 2015, his earnings were listed at $57 million for the previous 12 months by ‘Forbes’ magazine, ranking him as the 27th highest-paid celebrity in the world.