Edward Christopher "Ed" Sheeran (born 17 February 1991) is an English singer-songwriter, musician, and occasional actor. He was born in Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire and raised in Framlingham, Suffolk. He dropped out of school at 16, and moved to London the following year, in 2008, to pursue a career in music. In early 2011, Sheeran independently released the extended play, No. 5 Collaborations Project, which caught the attention of Elton John and Jamie Foxx. After signing with Asylum Records, his debut album, + (read as "plus"), was released on 9 September 2011 and has since been certified six-times platinum in the UK. The album contains the single, "The A Team", which earned him the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. In 2012, Sheeran won the Brit Awards for Best British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act.
Sheeran's popularity abroad began in 2012. In the US, he made a guest appearance on Taylor Swift's fourth studio album, Red."The A Team" was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards, where he performed the song with Elton John. He spent much of 2013 opening for Swift's The Red Tour in North America dates. In late 2013, he performed three sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden as a headline act.
His second studio album, x (read as "multiply"), was released worldwide on 23 June 2014. It peaked at number one in the UK and the US. In 2015, x won the Brit Award for Album of the Year, and he received the Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of the Year.His single from x, "Thinking Out Loud", earned him two Grammy Awards at the 2016 ceremony: Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. As part of his world tour, Sheeran played three sold-out concerts at London's Wembley Stadium in July 2015, his biggest solo shows to date.
Sheeran performed a gig in Bristol, which raised £40,000 for a charity that reaches out to street sex workers. "It's good to show insight that these people are real people with real emotions and they deserve the same charity work as anyone else," Sheeran said. "There's a lot more popular charities that get a lot of attention. And with certain subjects like this they're often washed over and people don't necessarily give them the attention they deserve." Tickets were available to those taking part in the charity's Give it up for One25 campaign by giving something up for 125 hours and hitting the £40,000 fundraising mark.
Sheeran frequently gives away his clothes to charity shops around his home county Suffolk. An ambassador for East Anglia's Children's Hospice, he has donated clothes to the St Elizabeth Hospice charity shop in Framlingham, including eight bags of clothes to the shop in February 2014, and eight items of clothing he wore at the 2015 Grammy Awards.
On 15 November 2014, Sheeran joined the charity supergroup Band Aid 30 along with other British and Irish pop acts, recording the latest version of the track "Do They Know It's Christmas?" at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, to raise money for the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.
In November 2015, Sheeran supported the No Cold Homes campaign by the UK charity, Turn2us. Sheeran was one of nearly thirty celebrities, which included Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons and Hugh Laurie, to donate items of winter clothing to the campaign, with the proceeds used to help people in the UK struggling to keep their home warm in winter.
In early 2011, after securing recording and publishing deals, Sheeran purchased a farm near Framlingham, Suffolk, and had it renovated. He has stated that he hopes to raise a family there. He also bought a house in south London in early 2014. Sheeran lived between Hendersonville, Tennessee and Los Angeles for the duration of 2013.Sheeran is the second cousin of broadcaster Gordon Burns, who hosted the British game show The Krypton Factor.
Sheeran was in a relationship with Scottish singer-songwriter, Nina Nesbitt (who was in his music video for "Drunk") in 2012, before breaking up. Nesbitt is the subject of Sheeran's songs, "Nina" and "Photograph", while most of Nesbitt's album, Peroxide, is about Sheeran. In January 2014, Sheeran started dating Athina Andrelos, who works for British celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver. She is the inspiration of Sheeran's song, "Thinking Out Loud".They broke up in February 2015.As of September 2015, Sheeran is dating his former high school friend, Cherry Seaborn.
In June 2015, Forbes listed his earnings at $57 million for the previous 12 months, and ranked him the 27th-highest-earning celebrity in the world. On 19 October 2015, Sheeran received an honorary degree from the University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich for his "outstanding contribution to music". Sheeran comments, "Suffolk is very much where I call home. Receiving this recognition is a real privilege."
Sheeran was born in Hebden Bridge, a market town in Calderdale near Halifax, West Yorkshire. His family moved to Framlingham in Suffolk when he was a child. He has an older brother named Matthew, who was born on 17 March 1989. Matthew studied music at university and is now a classical composer. Their parents, John and Imogen, are London-born. His paternal grandparents were Irish; according to Sheeran, his father hailed from "a very large" Catholic family. His paternal grandfather, Bill, was a Protestant and his wife, Ann, was Catholic.Bill and Ann retired in Gorey, County Wexford.
John is an art curator and lecturer, and Imogen is a culture publicist turned jewellery designer. His parents ran Sheeran Lock, an independent art consultancy, from 1990 to 2010.Their work usually took them to London, and they spent their weekends travelling with their children, while playing music. Sheeran's early childhood memories include listening to the records of Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton. According to Sheeran, the album that first introduced him to music was Van Morrison's Irish Heartbeat.