Ed Sheeran has revealed that Jay-Z “respectfully passed” on featuring on the singer’s massive hit single ‘Shape Of You’.
‘Shape Of You’ was released at the start of 2017 and went five times platinum in its first year, becoming one of the biggest UK singles of all time on streaming services.
Speaking to Rolling Stone for a new interview, Sheeran said that he was “in touch” with the legendary New York rapper’s team about a collaboration, but that it was turned down on Jay-Z’s side.
“We were in touch,” Sheeran said. “I sent him the song, and he said, ‘I don’t think the song needs a rap verse.’ He was probably right. He’s got a very, very good ear. He usually gets things right. It was a very natural, respectful pass.”
This May, Sheeran will release new album ‘-‘ (pronounced ‘Subtract’). That record is set to arrive on May 5 via Asylum/Atlantic (pre-order/pre-save here), with a Disney+ documentary Ed Sheeran: The Sum of it All premiering on May 3.
The album sees Sheeran team up with Aaron Dessner of The National and is about “fear, depression and anxiety”. It’s also billed as the “last in his decade-spanning mathematical album era”.
In the same Rolling Stone interview, Sheeran shared that following the death of Jamal Edwards, he “felt like I didn’t want to live anymore,” elaborating that “those thoughts were bad enough, but shame arrived as their companion. They seemed selfish, especially as a father. I feel really embarrassed about it.”
Sheeran has also revealed plans for a posthumous album to be released following his death. That record will be a progressive work, with the singer planning to “add songs here and there” throughout the rest of his career.