Edward Christopher Sheeran is an English singer-songwriter born in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, on February 17 1991. His family moved to Framlingham, Suffolk, when he was a child. He sang in a local choir from the age of four and began playing guitar a few years later. He first started writing songs while he was at high school.
Sheeran recorded his first EP, ‘The Orange Room’ EP, in 2005. Three years later, he moved to London to embark on his music career properly. He supported Nizlopi in April 2008, having spent his time as one of their guitar technicians.
He released his second EP, ‘You Need Me’, in 2009. During the same year, he played 312 gigs, inspired by an interview he’d read with James Morrison stating he’d played 200 gigs in one year. The following year, he toured with the rapper Example and released his ‘Loose Change’ EP, which featured the track, ‘The A Team’.
Sheeran went to LA in April 2010 and played a host of open mic nights. Jamie Foxx spotted him while he was out there and offered Sheeran the use of his studio and Hollywood home. He released two further EPs that year: ‘Ed Sheeran: Live At The Bedford’ and ‘Songs I Wrote With Amy’.
The singer released his last independent record in 2011, the ‘No. 5 Collaborations Project’, which featured appearances from the likes of Devlin, Sway and Wiley. The record went to Number Two in the iTunes Chart and, when Sheeran hosted a free gig at London’s Barfly three months later, over 1000 fans turned up.
Sheeran signed to Asylum/Atlantic Records in March 2011. He released his debut single ‘The A Team’ shortly after, which sold 58,000 copies in its first week of release. It went on to become the best-selling debut single of 2011. His debut album ‘+’ was released on September 12 2011 and went straight to Number One in the Official Albums Chart. It has since been certified platinum six times.
In 2012, he picked up two BRIT Awards, including Best British Solo Male Artist and British Breakthrough Act Of The Year. At the Ivor Novello Awards in the same year, he won the Best Song Musically and Lyrically category for ‘The A Team’, beating Adele and Florence + The Machine in the process.
The musician’s second album ‘x’ (multiply) was released on June 23 2014. It was produced by Rick Rubin in Los Angeles and featured co-writes with Northern Irish musician Foy Vance. It charted at Number One in the charts in twelve countries, including the UK and US. In support of the album he played a world tour that included three sold-out nights at London’s Wembley Stadium in July 2015. These formed the basis of his concert film, Jumpers for Goalposts. In 2015 he also appeared as himself in the American sitcom Undateable and the Australian soap Home and Away, while he played Sir Cormac in The Bastard Executioner. He also appeared as himself in 2016’s Bridget Jones’ Baby.
In January 2017, Sheeran simultaneously released two singles from his third album, ‘÷’. Entitled ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Castle on the Hill’, they broke Spotify’s one-day streaming record and entered the UK chart at Number One and Number Two respectively in their first week – a first for the UK charts. Sheeran will release ‘÷’ on March 3, 2017, and from March until June, he will Europe and South America.