Edward Christopher Sheeran is an English singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and actor. He attended the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford as an undergraduate from the age of 18 in 2009. In early 2011, Sheeran independently released the extended play, No. 5 Collaborations Project. After singing with Asylum Records, his debut album, +, was released in September 2011. Take a look below for 40 more awesome and interesting facts about Ed Sheeran.
1. Sheeran was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on February 17, 1991.
2. When he was a child, he moved with his family from Hebden Bridge to Framlingham in Suffolk.
3. He has an older brother named Matthew, who works as a composer.
4. Sheeran’s parents, John and Imogen, are from London. His paternal grandparents are Irish, and Sheeran has stated that his father is from a “very large” Catholic family.
5. John is an art curator and lecturer, and Imogen is a culture publicist turned jewellery designer.
6. His parents ran Sheeran Lock, an independent art consultancy, from 1990 to 2010.
7. Sheeran sang in a local church choir from the age of four, learned to play the guitar during his time at Rishworth School, and began writing songs while at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham.
8. A 2004 school report described him as a “natural performer”, and his classmates also voted him “most likely to be famous”.
9. He was accepted at the National Youth Theatre in London as a teenager.
10. He successfully auditioned for Youth Music Theatre UK in 2007 and joined their production of Frankenstein in Plymouth.
11. He is a patron of Youth Music Theatre UK (now renamed British Youth Music Theatre) and of Access to Music, where he studied Artist Development.
12. Sheeran is a second cousin of Northern Irish broadcaster Gordon Burns, who hosted the British game show The Krypton Factor.
13. Sheeran began recording music in 2004 and independently released his first collection of work, Spinning Man.
14. He has been friends with fellow English singer, Passenger, since he was 15, with the two playing the same gig in Cambridge.
15. He moved to London in 2008 and began playing in small venues.
16. In 2017, the team behind TLC’s song “No Scrubs” were given writing credits on Sheeran’s hit song “Shape of You” after fans and critics found similarities between elements of the two songs.
17. Also in 2017, Sheeran settled out of court over claims his song “Photograph” was a “note-for-note” copy of the chorus in a song called “Amazing” by X Factor UK winner Matt Cardle.
18. In 2018, two Australian musicians filed a copyright infringement complaint against Sheeran, country music singers Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, among others, accusing them of plagiarizing one of their songs.
19. Sean Carey, a former guitarist in the band Thirsty Merc, and keyboardist and songwriter Beau Golden said “The Rest Of Our Life”, a song by McGraw and Hill and co-written by Sheeran, is substantially similar to their track “When I Found You”.
20. Later that year, legal action was brought against Sheeran, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Atlantic Records by the estate and heirs of the late producer Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the song “Let’s Get It On” with Marvin Gaye. US District Judge Louis Stanton rejected Sheeran’s call for a legal case accusing him of copying parts of the song to be dismissed in January 2019. Stanton said that a jury should decide but that he found “substantial similarities between several of the two works’ musical elements”.
21. Sheeran’s earliest memories include listening to the records of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Elton John’s Greatest Hits.
22. According to Sheeran, the album that introduced him to music was Van Morrison’s Irish Heartbeat.
23. During his childhood his father took him to live concerts that would inspire his musical creations. These included seeing Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, Paul McCartney in Birmingham, and Bob Dylan.
24. He has also cited The Beatles, Nizlopi and Eminem as his biggest musical influences.
25. According to Sheeran, he had a stutter in his speech when he was younger, and he credited rapping along to Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP for helping him get rid of it.
26. He was also inspired by “Cannonball” singer-songwriter Damien Rice in 2002, with Sheeran stating, “seeing him play this small club in Ireland, I was able to meet him, and he was unbelievably cool. I went straight home and started writing songs. I would not be doing what I’m doing now if he’d been a jerk.”
27. He also played the guitar to Westlife’s Greatest hits album when he was ten, citing them as one of his influences.
28. In March 2015, Sheeran announced he was setting up a record label, Gingerbread Man Records, which is a deal with Warner Music Group.
29. The label was launched in August 2015 alongside its accompanying YouTube channel.
30. Jamie Lawson, the label’s first signee, met Sheeran while they were both in London’s folk circuit. Lawson released his self-titled debut album on 9 October 2015, which has earned him a number one in the UK Albums Chart.
31. Sheeran signed his second artist, Foy Vance, in November 2015.
32. Sheeran performed a gig in Bristol, which raised £40,000 for a charity that reaches out to street sex workers. “It’s good to show insight that these people are real people with real emotions and they deserve the same charity work as anyone else,” Sheeran said. “There’s a lot more popular charities that get a lot of attention. And with certain subjects like this they’re often washed over and people don’t necessarily give them the attention they deserve.”
33. Sheeran frequently gives away his clothes to charity shops around Suffolk, his home county.
34. An ambassador for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice, he has donated clothes to the St Elizabeth Hospice charity shop in his home town Framlingham, including eight bags of clothes to the shop in February 2014.
35. The tartan shirt worn by Sheeran when he met Renee Zellweger’s character, Bridget, in Bridget Jones’s Baby, was auctioned online to raise further funds for the hospice.
36. On 15 November 2014, Sheeran joined the charity supergroup Band Aid 30 along with other British and Irish pop acts, recording the latest version of the track “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, to raise money for the West African Ebola virus epidemic.
37. In early 2011, after securing recording and publishing deals, Sheeran purchased and renovated a farm near Framlingham, Suffolk, where he was raised. He has stated that he hopes to raise a family there.
38. Sheeran was in a relationship with Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt (who was in his music video for “Drunk”) in 2012, before breaking up. Nesbitt is the subject of Sheeran’s songs “Nina” and “Photograph”, while most of Nesbitt’s album, Peroxide, is about Sheeran.
39. In January 2014, Sheeran was in a relationship with Athina Andrelos, who works for chef Jamie Oliver. She is the inspiration of Sheeran’s song “Thinking Out Loud”. They broke up in February 2015.
40. Since July 2015, Sheeran has been in a relationship with childhood friend and former high school classmate Cherry Seaborn. They announced their engagement in January 2018.