There is no doubt that singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is one of the biggest names in music today. With four Grammys and seven Billboard Music Awards under his belt, plus four Billboard Hot 100 Number 1 hits as a songwriter, it's safe to say that he has come a long way since his days of busking on the streets of England.
This year, the musician's debut album +, which birthed his early hits 'The A Team' and 'Lego House', celebrates its 10th birthday. Sheeran recently made an appearance on the Apple Music radio show, The Rebecca Judd Show on Apple Music 1, where he gave listeners a rare insight into his music, his life, and more.
Here are 10 things about the British musician that you're probably unaware of.
1. He doesn't use a phone
Yes, you read that right – one of the biggest celebrities in the world doesn't own a mobile phone.
"Stuff like FaceTime and Zoom is really important, but it shouldn't detract from everyday interaction," shared Sheeran.
"If we were having a conversation right now and I just kind of was still talking to you, but texting...I just think it's rude, innit? You're not in the moment. And I find that every time I think I should get a phone, I end up in a situation like that."
2. His love for songwriting was inspired by Irish musician Damien Rice
We can all agree that Sheeran has released some of the most poignant and expressive lyrics in the past decade, with tracks like 'Tenerife Sea' or 'Everything Has Changed' – his collaboration with fellow singer-songwriter extraordinaire, Taylor Swift. According to Sheeran himself, we have Irish singer Damien Rice to thank for that.
"My dad went for [a] pint at the bar and Damien Rice was there. So I met him and that was the day I started songwriting," explained Sheeran.
3. He and his wife had dinner with Jay-Z and Beyonce right after their first date
Talk about leaving a good first impression. Speaking to Apple Music, Sheeran revealed that he had brought his now-wife Cherry Seaborn along for a meal with The Carters a day after their first date.
"Jay-Z and Beyonce came to a gig that I did in Brooklyn. And they were like, "Come out to this restaurant with us afterwards," Sheeran explained.
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4. His first meeting with Eminem revolved around discussing all-things Marvel
When he first met up with rapper Eminem, the duo didn't start working on any music. Instead, they had a discussion about the Marvel Universe and the Avengers.
"I hung out there for about four hours and we just spoke Marvel and Avengers for about four hours," said Sheeran.
5. Van Morrison woke him up at 7 for breakfast
'Brown Eyed Girl' singer Van Morrison once gave Sheeran an unexpected wake-up call at 7 in the morning, where he showed up at his hotel unannounced.
"I'd just played the Odyssey Arena and I was staying at this hotel and I'd stayed up really late the night before having drinks. And I'd got woken up two hours later by the concierge being like, 'Van Morrison's in the lobby. He'd like to see you.'"
6. His first-ever song was almost featured on a show by the creator of 'The Simpsons'
Titled 'Typical Average Teen', the song was originally slated to be included on the soundtrack of a show produced by the creator of the well-known series The Simpsons.
"The creator of The Simpsons was doing a show, my cousin knew him. And they were like, 'Oh, they're doing this show about a typical average teen.' And he was like, 'My cousin wrote something like that.'"
7. He has forgotten the lyrics to some of his songs
Having penned countless songs during his career, it's not surprising that Sheeran has forgotten some of the lyrics from his older tracks.
"I'm doing a 10th-anniversary show at some point this year, so I'm going to go back and relearn all of it," shared Sheeran. "There'll be songs that I'll have to literally relearn the lyrics to, because I wouldn't have played them since the tour in 2011."
8. He and his wife make sure they go for date night every week
Despite his busy schedule as a global superstar and as a new parent, Sheeran says that he and his wife have a night reserved for just the two of them every week.
"No matter who's in town or who wants to see us, it's always this one night in the week and we go out and our rule is we can't talk about our baby," Sheeran said.
"We have one night a week where we are who we were before."
9. He feels like his released songs are no longer his own
While Sheeran owns the rights to all of his released music, he doesn't feel like they are truly his.
"I wouldn't say 'Thinking Out Loud' is my song anymore. I'd say it's this couple that had their first kiss to it or this couple that enjoyed their first dance to it," explained the singer. "They're songs of the public. And they're just public domain."
10. He has a strict rule about never reaching out to his idols first
Most people may jump at the opportunity to reach out to their idols, but Sheeran is the exact opposite.
"My rule has always been never, ever meet your heroes unless they want to meet you."
Citing Eminem as an example, Sheeran shared: "I remember working with Rick Rubin and we went to New York for Saturday Night Live cause he'd done a song with Eminem and he was like, 'Do you want to meet Eminem?' And I said, 'No, I want to get to a point where Eminem wants to meet me.'"
Listen to the Rebecca Judd Show on Apple Music 1 featuring Ed Sheeran here.
Listen to '+' below:
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