Artist of the Month
Origin: Framlingham, Suffolk, England
Genres: Pop, Folk Pop, Acoustic
Years Active: 2004 – Present
U.K. artist Ed Sheeran is a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter known for hit songs like "Thinking Out Loud" and "Photograph."
Ed Sheeran was born in February 1991 in Halifax, England. He began playing guitar at a young age and soon after started writing his own songs. When he was just a teenager, he moved to London to pursue his music, and his outpouring of creativity added up to several early EPs and hundreds of live shows. Getting a lot of attention with his online performances, Sheeran hit No. 1 on the iTunes chart before he ever signed with a record label. Since signing with Atlantic, Sheeran has sold millions of records, had a song appear in the second installment of The Hobbit trilogy and won a Grammy for Song of the Year, specifically for the Top 5 hit "Thinking Out Loud."
It wasn’t until 2010 that Sheeran made the leap to the next level in his career, and it came via online media, a route Sheeran had learned to use with great effectiveness. When a video he posted online got the attention of Example, a rapper, Sheeran was asked to go on the road with him as his opening act. This led to an even larger online fan base and inspiration for many more songs, which ended up filling three new EPs, all in 2010.
When Sheeran headed to the U.S. that year, he found a new fan in Jamie Foxx, who asked Sheeran to appear on his Sirius radio show. Soon after, in January 2011, Sheeran released yet another EP, his last as an independent artist. Without any promotion, the record reached No. 2 on the iTunes chart, and he signed on with Atlantic Records that same month.
With Atlantic, Sheeran released his major debut studio album, +. An instant hit, the album sold more than a million copies in the U.K. in the first six months alone. Sheeran began co-writing songs with bigger artists, such as One Direction and Taylor Swift, and supported Swift on her 2013 arena tour.
On a roll, Sheeran’s next success would come when his song "I See Fire" was featured in the movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and in June 2014, his next album, x, appeared, debuting at No. 1 in the U.S. and U.K. The project featured three Top 10 singles—"Don't," "Photograph" and "Thinking Out Loud"—with the latter winning the Grammy for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance in 2016.
In 2016, Sheeran took a hiatus to work on his third studio album, ÷ (pronounced "divided"). In January 2017, he released two singles from the album, "Shape of You" and "Castle on the Hill," which debuted at number one and number six, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100, Sheeran released ÷ in March 2017, and announced a 2017 world tour. His new album broke a Spotify record for first-day album streams with 56.7 million listens in 24 hours.