Edward Christopher Sheeran
February 17, 1991 (age 27)
Singer, songwriter, producer
Asylum, Atlantic, Elektra
In early 2011, Sheeran independently released an extended play titled No. 5 Collaborations Project, which caught the attention of singers Elton John and Jamie Foxx. Sheeran signed with Asylum Records and his debut album, + ("plus"), was released in 2011.
Sheeran's rise to fame began with the 2011 release of his debut album + (pronounced "plus") which reached #1 in six countries. He released five singles, "The A Team", "You Need Me, I Don't Need You", "Lego House" "Drunk", "Small Bump" and "Give Me Love". Of the five, "The A Team" and "Lego House" were top 5 hits in the UK and Australia, while the former peaked at #16 in the US.
Sheeran also found top 20 success in 2013 when he contributed "I See Fire" to The Hobbit's film soundtrack.
In 2014, Sheeran released his second album "x" (pronounced "multiply"), which spawned five hit singles - "Thinking Out Loud", "Sing", "Don't" "Photograph" and "Bloodstream". "Sing" became Sheeran's first #1 hit single, topping the charts in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden. "Thinking Out Loud" was also a #1 hit in several countries, and peaked at #2 in the US. The song won Sheeran two Grammy Awards, and "x" became the most streamed album on Spotify in 2014. It was one of the best selling albums of all time in the United Kingdom and the first album to be certified Diamond in Australia, with over 500,000 copies sold. The success saw Sheeran playing three sell-out shows at 90,000 capacity in Wembley Stadium in 2015. His stadium concerts are notable in that Sheeran performs each show completely alone with no set, band or dancers, just his guitar and a loop pedal, which he uses to build each song in the moment.
On 1 January 2017, after a one year complete hiatus from all music and media presence, Sheeran announced he would return to music by releasing new material on 6 January. He confirmed his third album was titled "÷" (divide). Divide's release saw Sheeran become the fastest selling male artist in the United Kingdom. Five singles were released - "Shape of You", "Castle On The Hill", "Galway Girl", "Perfect" and "Happier" - several of which became the highest selling songs of 2017. "Shape" was declared the ninth best-selling single of all time by Billboard, and was the best selling song of 2017. "Castle" was released simultaneously with "Shape" and, as a result, debuted at #2 in most countries. After a strong response to the initial single release, "Perfect" was re-released as a duet between Sheeran and American singer Beyonce. The single reached #1 in 17 countries, was Sheeran's 10th million-selling single in the UK, and was the 7th best-selling song of 2017 in the US. It was also Beyonce's first US #1 single in 9 years (her sixth overall). Divide was the best-selling album worldwide in 2017. To promote the album, Sheeran embarked on the "÷ tour", his most extensive world tour yet, with 257 shows over two years. It was the highest grossing tour of 2018, with $429 million earned.
Relationship with One Direction
Before achieving commercial success, Sheeran would often sleep on friend's sofas. One friend was a guitarist working for One Direction. Ed stated that he would often wake up to find Harry Styles sleeping on another sofa. Harry and Ed have numerous friendship tattoos, the most famous being the "Pingu" tattoo, based on the 1990s children's television program. Ed appears closest to Harry and Niall, but is a known friend to the entire band. He shared the stage with One Direction several times during their Take Me Home Tour.
Sheeran has written four One Direction songs - "Moments", "Little Things", "Over Again" and "18". While the first three were reused, unreleased songs Sheeran had originally written for himself, 18 was specifically written for the band at Simon Cowell's request.
Sheeran stated in 2015 that he no longer felt he needed to write songs with One Direction, as they had gotten too good at songwriting for themselves.
It was alleged by tabloid media that Sheeran's 2014 single "Don't" was about rumoured then-girlfriend UK singer Ellie Goulding cheating on Sheeran with Niall. The rumour was subsequently denied by both Sheeran and Goulding, with Sheeran claiming he was misquoted during an interview, and Goulding denying she had ever dated Ed to begin with. Horan never addressed the rumour and remains close friends with both. Niall celebrated Ed's 2017 return to music, praising Castle On The Hill.
Sheeran initially hinted in early 2017 that he had recently collaborated with "one of the five" of One Direction, but specified it was not Harry Styles. In May 2017, Liam Payne revealed his debut single "Strip That Down" was co-written by Sheeran. Ironically, the artist to end Sheeran's early 2017 reign at #1 worldwide was Harry, with the April release of his debut single "Sign Of The Times" knocking "Shape Of You" from the top spot in both the United Kingdom and Australia. Ed tweeted he was "genuinely happy" to be succeeded by Styles. Styles also told media that Sheeran had liked a song he ultimately left off his debut album, titled "Anna". Harry would eventually perform the song live during his 2018 arena tour.
- "Moments" — lyricist, composer
- "18" — lyricist
Untitled Liam Payne Album
- "Strip That Down" - co-writing