Ed Sheeran’s ‘We Are’ was inspired by the death of a friend

The musician has also called it the song that got him a record deal

Ed Sheeran‘s ‘We Are’ was written about the death of a close friend, it has been revealed.

The track does not appear on any of the singer-songwriter’s albums but does feature on an early self-released live EP.

According to a new biography about Sheeran, the song was written about the death of his friend Stuart Dines while he was on a school ski trip in Cologne in 2006. ‘We Are’ was reportedly played at Dines’ funeral.

In the book, author Sean Smith wrote: “Ed had to come to terms with the death of someone he saw practically every day. He resolved to write a song about his feelings. He composed it, he said, ‘whilst I got round to actually accepting it’.”

Dines’ father Robert was quoted as saying: “Ed was very, very upset, like a lot of the children.”

Sheeran later called the track “the song that actually got me a record deal.” He performed ‘We Are’ during a set at south London pub The Bedford in 2010 when an executive from Atlantic was in the audience.

Meanwhile, last month, Sheeran was revealed to be the richest solo artist in the world, beating the likes of Adele and Taylor Swift to the title.

Accounts show that his company, Ed Sheeran Ltd, had a turnover of £36,293,611 with a graft profit of £27,376,900. It equates to £75,005 a day. They also reveal that the star payed more tax than corporate giants Amazon and Starbucks – despite the companies making £162m and £2 billion respectively in the UK.