#43 | Short bio: Ed Sheeran

Short bio: Ed Sheeran


STUTTER = gagueira. “While the surgery was a success, it did give him a stutter and a lazy eye.”
VENUE = locais; espaços (de evento). “In addition to playing the guitar and writing songs, he started performing in different venues.”
ON A ROLL = em uma maré de sorte. “On a roll, Sheeran’s next success would come when his song “I See Fire” was featured in the movie The Hobbit.

Ed Sheeran

Edward Christopher Sheeran, better known as Ed Sheeran, was born in February 1991 in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. He had one older brother and his parents were running an art consultancy at the time.

At the age of two, Ed had to undergo surgery to remove a birth mark that was turning into glaucoma, which meant he could have gone blind. While the surgery was a success, it did give him a stutter and a lazy eye.

Ed Sheeran Speaks at the 2015 American Institute for Stuttering Gala

Ed Sheeran comes from a Catholic family. When he was four years old, he started to sing in the choir of the church, and seven years later he started to play the guitar. At 11 he was already writing songs, which was inspired by a backstage chat with Damien Rice. Not only was his love for music obvious, but also his talent started being noticed by others around him. At the age of fourteen, he began to compose.

Ed Sheeran was bullied every day at school, mainly for his stutter and oversized glasses; therefore, he stopped participating and raising his hand.

Surprisingly, that wasn’t the case when it came to singing and making music. He enjoyed singing in the local church and shares that playing the guitar in his room was the only time he felt in control.

His red hair didn’t help him with his image in school. However, he realized early on that while ginger men aren’t attractive, they do need to count on taking action if they want to make something happen. In addition, he shares it’s what saved him as a musician.

Ed knew music was his calling and he had to do something about it. So in addition to playing the guitar and writing songs, he started performing in different venues. Soon he had 12 shows in a week.

Sheeran began recording music in 2004 and independently released his first collection of work Spinning Man. He has been friends with fellow English singer, Passenger, since he was 15, with the two playing the same gig in Cambridge. He moved to London in 2008 and began playing in small venues. In 2008, he auditioned for the ITV series Britannia High. He also opened for Nizlopi in Norwich in April 2008, after being one of their guitar technicians. He released another EP in 2009, You Need Me, just before going on tour with Just Jack. He also collaborated several times with Essex singer Leddra Chapman, including CeeLo Green’s “Fuck You”. In February 2010, Sheeran posted a video through SB.TV, and rapper Example invited Sheeran to tour with him. In the same month, he also released his critically acclaimed Loose Change EP, which featured his future debut single, “The A Team”. In the autumn of 2009, Sheeran began studying music at the Academy of Contemporary Music as an undergraduate at the age 18, though it is not clear how long he remained at the college.

Sheeran began to be seen by more people over the internet through YouTube and his fan base expanded, with him also receiving praise from The Independent newspaper and Elton John. He played a Station Session in St. Pancras International in June 2010. Sheeran also self-released two other EPs in 2010, Ed Sheeran: Live at the Bedford and Songs I Wrote with Amy, which is a collection of love songs he wrote in Wales with Amy Wadge. When in Los Angeles in 2010, he was also invited to perform at The Foxxhole, a club run by actor Jamie Foxx.

On 8 January 2011, Sheeran released another independent EP, No. 5 Collaborations Project. With this EP, Sheeran gained mainstream attention for having reached number 2 in the iTunes chart without any promotion or label, selling over 7,000 copies in the first week. Three months later, Sheeran put on a free show to fans at the Barfly in Camden Town. Over 1,000 fans turned up, so Sheeran played four different shows to ensure everyone saw a gig, including a gig outside on the street after the venue had closed. Later that month, Sheeran was signed to Asylum Records.

Still in 2011, “The A Team” was released as a digital download in the UK. The release served as the lead single from Sheeran’s debut studio album, +. An instant hit, the album sold more than a million copies in the United Kingdom in the first six months alone. Sheeran began co-writing songs with bigger artists, such as One Direction and Taylor Swift, and supported Swift on her 2013 arena tour.

On a roll, Sheeran’s next success would come when his song “I See Fire” was featured in the movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and in June 2014, his next album, x, appeared, debuting at No. 1 in the United States and the United Kingdom. The project featured three Top 10 singles — “Don’t,” “Photograph” and “Thinking Out Loud” — with the latter winning the Grammy for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance in 2016.

In 2016, Sheeran took a break to work on his third studio album, ÷. In January 2017, he released two singles from the album, “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill,” which debuted at No. 1 and No. 6, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100. Sheeran subsequently released ÷ in March 2017, and announced a world tour. His new album broke a Spotify record for first-day album streams with 56.7 million listens in 24 hours.

In late 2017, Sheeran released another hit with the love song “Perfect,” also released as a joint effort with Beyoncé, titled “Perfect Duet.” The original version hit No. 1 on the Billboard Pop Songs and Adult Pop Songs charts in mid-January 2018. Later that month, Sheeran won two more Grammys for Best Pop Solo Performance for “Shape of You” and Best Pop Vocal Album for ÷.

May 2019 brought the release of the Sheeran and Justin Bieber track “I Don’t Care,” the first single from Sheeran’s upcoming studio album, No.6 Collaborations Project. An immediate success, “I Don’t Care” established a new single-day streaming record for Spotify. The English hitmaker followed with the releases of “Cross Me,” with Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock, and “Beautiful People,” featuring Khalid, with No.6 ultimately producing eight singles before picking up a Grammy nod for Best Pop Vocal Album.

Sheeran has also appeared in numerous films as himself, including Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016) and the Beatles-inspired musical Yesterday (2019). He also landed a recurring role in the 2015 FX series The Bastard Executioner, and later appeared in an episode of Game of Thrones and the Amazon anthology series Modern Love.

As Sheeran’s fame grew, so did the number of cases against the Grammy-winning artist seeking compensation for copyright infringement. In 2014, songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard alleged that Sheeran’s “Photograph” was ripped off from their track “Amazing,” written for 2010 X Factor winner Matt Cardle. The case was settled out of court in 2017.

In 2016, the heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote Marvin Gaye’s 1973 classic “Let’s Get It On,” claimed that Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” borrowed extensively from the Gaye track. The case was dismissed the following year, but Sheeran was hit with a new lawsuit in June 2018 over the same song from Structured Asset Sales, which owned part of Townsend’s catalog.

In early 2018, Sean Carey and Beau Golden sought $20 million in damages over claims that “The Rest of Our Life,” co-written by Sheeran for country music stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, copied their song “When I Found You,” recorded by Jasmine Rae. The lawsuit was settled late in the year.

On December 7, 2017, Sheeran was made a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his services to music and charity. 

After receiving the honor from Prince Charles, Sheeran gushed about the occasion, but also noted it was bittersweet: “My grandfather … he died on this day four years ago, so it’s actually quite a nice full circle thing,” he said. “I guess he’d be pretty proud.”

A few weeks later, Sheeran announced that he had celebrated another momentous occasion by getting engaged to girlfriend Cherry Seaborn just before the new year. In August, he revealed that the two had secretly gotten married since then, telling the surprised interviewer that he’s never “too public” about such personal details.

At the end of 2019, after previously taking a hiatus from social media in 2015, Ed Sheeran announced one more time that he would take another break from work and social media.

Ed Sheeran – Finding Peace at the Top of the Music Industry | Chasing the Present


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