No fools, not B. A. Baracus and Hannibal; Ed Sheeran is coming to Doha at the QNCC on March 3. With that in mind, Patrick Hulbert looks at the facts, his career, and his successes to date.
You know when you find yourself working with Pharrell Williams that you’ve ‘made it’ in the music industry. And whether Ed Sheeran is too modest to admit it himself, he’s one of the hottest musical properties on the planet right now. With accolades, awards, success and stardom at every turn for the man from Suffolk, England, I thought I’d compile some facts, snippets and other bits and bobs about the chap who believes he looks 12 when he shaves his beard (first random fact).
Five well-known facts
1) Ed Sheeran writes much of his own music.
2) Many of his singles feature a rap by him, of some description.
3) His two albums to date are called + and x.
4) Noel Gallagher doesn’t like his music very much.
5) Ed Sheeran doesn’t really care that Noel Gallagher isn’t a massive fan.
• Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically (The A Team, 2012).
• Brit Award for British Breakthrough Act (2012).
• Brit Award for Best British Male Solo Artist (2012).
• Los Premios Best International Album (x, 2014).
• MTV Video Music Awards Best Male (Sing, 2014).
Five duets or collaborations
Pharrell Williams: Sheeran’s UK No 1 Sing was a collaboration with singer-songwriter, producer, rapper and wearer of interesting hats in Pharrell Williams who, contrary to Twitter reports, is not actually a vampire.
Demi Lovato: Ed teamed up with the actress, singer and songwriter and they performed together for a Capital One radio version of the single Give Me Love, used on his debut album, +.
Taylor Swift: The pair of them are besties, and co-performed the single Everything Has Changed. The two remain great friends to this day.
Elton John: Sir Elton is a fan of the young musical maestro, and performed with him at the Grammy’s in 2013, performing the hit The A Team.
Pink Floyd: One of Britain’s greatest ever bands sang their hit Wish You Were Here at the London Olympics in 2012 with the ruffled-haired star. For Sheeran to sing with musical royalty is an immense achievement.
Five random facts
• Ed Sheeran fans are called Sheerios.
• All of Ed Sheeran’s guitars have names. So give it up for Floyd, Felix, Cyril and Nigel.
• Ed has purchased a farm near Framlingham in rural Suffolk, and he ultimately hopes to raise a family there.
• Ed Sheeran sees all his music in colours.
• Ed loves Nando’s. Don’t we all?
Top five Ed Sheeran hits
NUMBER 5 Thinking Out Loud: A bit of cheesy pop and away from his usual contemporary pop/rap ensemble, Thinking Out Loud was very successful commercially and part of his latest album, x (pronounced “multiply”). He even dances in the video.
NUMBER 4 Lego House: Ed managed to convince Rupert Grint (the actor famed for playing Ronald Weasley in the Harry Potter series of films), to pretend to sing the song and act in the entirety of the video. It’s a thought-provoking love song about a fractured relationship.
NUMBER 3 I See Fire: Used in the Hobbit series of films for the credits of The Desolation of Smaug, Ed admits this is the only song ever written that wasn’t inspired by life experience, which is usually where he gets his material from. It has a more steely sound than his usual hits and is very simple in its musical ballad.
NUMBER 2 Sing: In at two comes Sing (you probably weren’t expecting this single to come at any other place but number one)! The high-tempo, fun hit is a collaborative piece of work with Pharrell Williams, featuring an Ed Sheeran look-alike puppet, Pharrell, and a bunch of Korean guys having fun doing karaoke.
NUMBER 1 The A Team: This was the single, on his + album, that propelled Ed Sheeran from a highly-respected and talented guitarist/singer/songwriter/rapper into a category of international music superstar. It was the lead song of the album and came in at number three in the charts. The lyrics are staggeringly poignant.