Ed Sheeran: ‘I was told I was too chubby and too ginger to make it in music’

Singer says snubs made him rely on his own self belief

Ed Sheeran has revealed that record companies he spoke to in his early days told him he was unmarketable because of his image.

The Grammy-winning British artist made the comments to SBTV in association with NCS, which helps teenagers in England develop skills for work, in an attempt to encourage self-belief among his fans.

Sheeran said: “Every single label I had gone to at the time had told me this song wasn’t a hit this song wouldn’t work and the fact that I was slightly chubby and ginger wasn’t a good ‘marketing tool’ for them. So yeah, it did definitely feel like it wasn’t going to happen. The way I maintained self-belief is that I knew I wasn’t good at anything else so what else was I going to do and secondly with the whole look and songs that the labels rejected I knew it was really important you stay true to yourself. Being an individual makes you stand out from the crowd.”

As well as inspiring teenagers entering the world of work, it was recently revealed that Sheeran is an inspiration to British number one tennis player Andy Murray, who is currently through to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. Murray said he listens to Sheeran to “get in the zone” for the annual grand slam tournament.