Ed Sheeran is a Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter who has sold millions of records on the strength of hit singles such as “The A Team” and “Thinking Out Loud.” Sheeran is dominating the music industry with his latest album, ÷, breaking a Spotify record for first-day album streams with 56.7 million listens in just 24 hours.
Here are a few more things you might not know about the man his friends call Fire Crotch.
Ed Sheeran Facts
34. Across the Isles
Sheeran was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire and moved with his family to Framlingham in Suffolk. In case you hadn’t already guessed it, Sheeran is very very British.
33. Early Childhood Education
His parents often had work in London so they spent weekends traveling with their children. Sheeran’s early childhood memories were listening to the records of Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton. Knowing that, just think of how many great musical careers have been cut short by the mere existence of the Teletubbies.
32. Celtic Pride
Sheeran claims that the album which first really introduced him to music was Irish Heartbeat, a collaboration between Van Morrison and the Chieftains.
31. Ride Along
Sheeran has been good friends with fellow English singer Passenger since the age of 15.
30. Singled Out
“The A Team” was the lead single from his debut studio album, +. It sold over 58,000 copies in the first week and was the best selling debut single of 2011, eventually selling 801,000 copies.
29. The Cat in the Tat
Sheeran’s first tattoo was a really fresh paw print. Cat lovers rejoice.
28. The Cat in the Tweetosphere
Sheeran adopted a kitten after finding out that the furry cutie would be put to sleep if he didn’t find a home. The cat, named Graham, has since amassed an impressive 71K followers on Twitter. You read that correctly.
27. Wizard woes
He was once mistaken for Rupert Grint, but he totally went with it because if someone asks if you’re a wizard, you say you’re a wizard.
26. Ed and Elton
Early on his career, Sheeran caught the attention of both Elton John. The two are pals, even performing duets together. After the release of the album “÷”, Ed was asked if he’d rather get a tattoo on his rear end of Elton John or Taylor Swift.
“I reckon Elton’s face because he’s always asking me to sit on it.” He later added, “I’m not even joking.”
25. California Dreaming
With no other gigs than a single poetry night, Sheeran bought a ticket to Los Angeles and played at open mics all over the city in an attempt to get noticed.
24. What Did the Foxx Say?
After seeing Sheeran perform at The Foxxhole, Jamie Foxx was so impressed that he offered Sheeran the use of his recording studio and a bed in his Hollywood home for the rest of his stay.
23. Independence Day
In 2011, Sheeran released his independent EP, No. 5 Collaborations Project, gaining mainstream attention when the album sold 7,000 copies and reached number 2 in the iTunes chart without any promotion or label.
22. Fan Club
Three months after the release of that album, Sheeran put on a free show to fans in Camden Town. Over a thousand fans showed up so Sheeran did four shows so that everyone would have a chance to see a gig, including a gig on the street outside after the venue closed.
Sheeran is the second cousin of broadcaster Gordon Burns, who hosted the British game show The Krypton Factor.
20. A for Effort
His single “The A Team” earned him an Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically beating out Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out.” Kanye still thinks Beyoncé should have won.
19. I Wish I was Big
Elton John canvassed the Grammy Award organizers to allow Sheeran to perform “The A Team” at the ceremony, but they said he wasn’t big enough of a name. To get around this, Elton John joined Sheeran for the performance. The size of Sheeran’s name isn’t a problem anymore.
18. In the Moment
Sheeran co-wrote the song “Moments” on the debut album of boy band One Direction. Was one of those moments when Zayn left? Because that was a helluva thing.
17. Bad One Direction!
In 2014, Ed Sheeran finally confirmed what fans long suspected – hit single “Don’t” is about Niall Horan of One Direction getting frisky with his once-girlfriend Ellie Goulding behind Ed’s back.
Fans also speculated that Ellie’s hit “On My Mind,” which mentions a fling with a tattooed man, was about Ed. Ellie denied the claim.
16. On the Swift Boat
Sheeran also co-wrote and provided vocals for “Everything Has Changed,” a single featured on Taylor Swift’s fourth studio album Red.
15. Little Red Wagon
From March to September 2013, Sheeran opened for Swift at arenas and stadiums across North America as the opening act for Swift’s The Red Tour. To commemorate the tour, he added a tattoo that says “RED”.
14. Where There’s Smoke
Sheeran’s song, “I See Fire,” was featured on the end credits of the film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
13. That Seems Excessive
In a span of three years, Sheeran wrote more than 120 songs for his second album, x.
12. We’ll Never Know
In 2014, Sheeran joined the charity supergroup Band Aid 30, recording the latest version of the track “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” to raise money for the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa. Unfortunately, the song never actually answers the question of whether or not they know it’s Christmas.
11. For Richer or for Poorer
In 2015, Sheeran performed at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park’s Great Lawn in New York, a festival that advocated for putting an end to extreme global poverty. Sheeran headlined along with Beyonce, Coldplay, and Pearl Jam because when it comes to helping the poor everybody knows there’s nobody better than super wealthy singers.
10. One Two Punch
At the beginning of 2017, Sheeran released two singles, “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill,” which debuted at number one and number two on the UK Singles Chart, the first time in history an artist has ever simultaneously taken the top two spots.
9. Order of Operations
Sheeran’s first album was + (pronounced “plus”), his second album was x (pronounced “multiply”), and his third album was ÷ (pronounced “divide”). If you guessed that his fourth album will be – (will it be “minus” or “subtract”?) then congratulations, you’ve cracked his code.
8. His Own Man
In 2015, Sheeran set up his own record label, Gingerbread Man Records, as part of a deal with Warner Music Group. Fun fact: In the original Gingerbread Man story, the titular character narrates his demise as he is eaten alive by a fox. Maybe that wasn’t such a fun fact.
7. A Strong Start
The label’s first signee, Jamie Lawson, released a self-titled debut album in late 2015 and earned a number one spot on the UK albums Chart.
6. Catchy Hook
Sheeran performed a gig in Bristol that raised £40,000 for a charity that reaches out to street sex workers. Asked why, Sheeran said, “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.”
5. The Doppelganger!
The internet pretty much broke last month when a photo of Ed Sheeran’s two-tear-old doppelganger surfaced. “Why does this two-year-old look more like Ed Sheeran than Ed Sheeran does?”
Sheeran was cast as Sir Cormac in Kirk Sutter’s medieval drama The Bastard Executioner on FX. Of the role, Sheeran said, “It’s gruesome and it’s going to be fine because my friend wrote it.” The show was cancelled after just six episodes.
3. Love Songs
Sheeran was dating singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt who was the subject of his songs “Nina” and “Photograph.” Much of Nesbitt’s album, Peroxide, is about Sheeran.
2. The Way To a Man’s Heart
After Nesbitt and Sheeran broke up, he started dating Athina Andrelos, who works for British celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver. She was the inspiration for Sheeran’s song, “Thinking Out Loud.” No word on whether or not Sheeran inspired any specific meals but if Ed Sheeran was a meal, he’d be strawberry scones with clotted cream. That just feels true.
1. Good Knight
In late 2016, a story circulated that Sheeran had to have stitches on his right cheek after an accident at a party where Princess Beatrice (yes, she’s a real princess) hit him in the face with a ceremonial sword after pretending to knight James Blunt. Blunt later revealed that entire story had been fabricated.
“Ed was drunk, messing around, and he cut himself,” Blunt stated. “We made a fancy story up; people fell for it. It was very embarrassing.” Or should we say Sir Blunt?