Edward Christopher Sheeran
February 17, 1991 (age 26)
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, + (read as "plus"), was released on 9 September 2011. It has since been certified seven times platinum in the United Kingdom.
Sheeran's breakout single was 2011's "The A Team". A string of successful hits - including "Give Me Love" and "Don't" - established him as one of the most successful entertainers of the decade. In 2016, he won Song Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance at the Grammy Awards for "Thinking Out Loud", from his second studio album, x. He released his third studio album, ÷, on March 3, 2017.
He is a close friend to One Direction and has written several songs for them.
Ed Sheeran's first commercially successful song was "The A Team" released in 2011. The song peaked at #16 in the United States, #3 in the United Kingdom and the top 5 in ten countries. His debut album + (pronounced "plus") peaked at #1 in the United Kingdom, Australia and four more countries. He released five more singles, including the hits Lego House and Give Me Love. In 2014, Sheeran released x (pronounced "multiply"), which spawned five hit singles, including Thinking Out Loud, Sing and Dont, won Sheeran two Grammys and was the most streamed album on Spotify that year. It was one of the best selling albums of all time in the United Kingdom and was the first album to be certified Diamond in Australia, with over 500,000 copies sold. The success of the album saw Sheeran playing three sell-out shows at 90,000 capacity in Wembley Stadium, in 2015.
On January 1, 2017, after a one year hiatus, Sheeran announced he would be returning to music by releasing new material on January 6th. The following day, he confirmed his new album would be called ÷ (divide). On January 6, Sheeran released two singles titled Shape Of You and Castle On The Hill. Castle was the first song completed for the new album while Shape was the final. Shape was a worldwide #1 hit and in most cases, Castle On The Hill debuted at #2 behind Shape. In the United States, Sheeran became the first artist to debut two songs in the top 10 the same week in the history of the Hot 100, with "Castle on the Hill" debuting at number six. In Australia, Shape and Castle remained at #1 and #2 respectively for six weeks. Divide's release saw Sheeran become the fastest selling male artist in the United Kingdom.
Relationship with One Direction
Before achieving commercial success, Sheeran would often stay at friends homes and sleep on the sofa. One of those friends was a guitarist working for One Direction. Ed stated that he would often wake up to find Harry Styles sleeping on the other sofa. Harry and Ed have numerous friendship tattoos, the most famous being the "pingu" tattoo, based on a 90s 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.
Ed wrote several songs which were ultimately used on One Direction's first and second albums - Moments, Little Things and Over Again. Simon Cowell requested Sheeran write for the band's fourth album, too, so he specifically wrote "18" with the band in mind.
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 media that Sheeran's 2014 single "Don't" was about rumoured girlfriend Ellie Goulding's alleged cheating on Sheeran with Niall Horan. The rumour was subsequently denied by Sheeran and Goulding. Horan has never addressed the rumour and remains close friends with both.
Niall celebrated Ed's 2017 return to music, praising Castle On The Hill in particular.
Sheeran revealed in March 2017 that he had recently collaborated with "one of the five" of One Direction, but specified it was not Harry Styles. He also revealed he had heard Harry's debut album.
- "Moments" — lyricist, composer
- "18" — lyricist