Ed Sheeran – From Bullied Boy to Global Music Phenomenon

ByQuyen Anne

Mar 7, 2024

The male singer was once ridiculed by his friends because of his red hair. He started his career by performing at bars and singing backup for other singers. 

Ed Sheeran has an unattractive appearance. His chubby body and sloppy dressing sense make his appearance sloppy. His red hair was always messy, as if Ed never used a comb and always had a habit of pulling at his hair. The boy born in 1991 once shared that he was always teased and bullied because of his hair color.


Male singer Ed Sheeran.

In an interview, Ed Sheeran joked that the most absurd plot point in the Harry Potter books is that the character Ron Weasley – a red-haired guy – has two friends. Ed is not exaggerating because in England, redheads face stigma and discrimination. They are accused of negative personality traits such as being extravagant, hot-tempered, unattractive, and eccentric.  But Ed Sheeran doesn’t seem to care much about that. He has other concerns besides hair color or taking care of his appearance.

* Ed Sheeran sang “Autumn Leaves” in 2009

Ed showed musical talent from a young age. He became proficient at playing the guitar when he was 5 years old, and composed, performed and recorded songs at the age of 15. In 2008, when he was just 16 years old, Ed left his hometown in Suffolk County to come to London to find development opportunities. In London, he diligently performed in bars and clubs. He couldn’t even afford to rent an apartment and had to sleep on a friend’s sofa. But Ed Sheeran did not give up. After 5 years of persistently singing and performing at more than 300 large and small shows in the country, Ed Sheeran has a certain number of fans in the UK.  Ed Sheeran could have chosen the safe option: stay in his hometown and slowly develop his career. However, the adventurous red-haired boy chose a more adventurous approach.

* MV “The A Team”

In 2010, Ed flew to America to play music for a small club. He has no relationships or anyone to sponsor him to advance his career. He makes a living by playing music at small venues and posting his music videos on YouTube. Ed gradually attracted the attention of big names like Jamie Foxx and Elton John. In 2011,  Ed Sheeran made a breakthrough with the hit song The A Team.  The song  ranked eighth on the list of best-selling singles of the year in the UK, entered the Top 10 music charts in Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, and Japan, making Ed Sheeran a notable young artist of the year. there.

People encode music using mathematical symbols

Ed named the three albums + (Plus), X (Multiply) and  ÷ (Divide) respectively . In 2014, Ed Sheeran revealed part of the meaning of the album names. According to him, + (Plus) is an additional version of the mini albums he released himself when he was not yet famous. X (Multipy) is efforts that are multiplied many times after previous products. At that time, Ed also shared that he would release ÷ (Devide) – an album promising a collaboration between him and another artist.

Even though it was explained like that, the audience was still not satisfied. Many people believe that chemical symbols contain metaphors in Ed’s music, making them even more curious to decode each time a new product is released.

+ (Plus) was released in 2011, bringing refreshing music, lots of energy of a youth who loves life and  is rich in compassion. The most famous song on the album – The A Team – is Ed’s compassion for street prostitutes. X  (Multiply) was released three years later, demonstrating the maturity and maturity of Ed Sheeran’s musical thinking.  X (Multiply) became the most downloaded album of 2014 on the online music site Spotify. That same year, Ed Sheeran also became the world’s most listened to artist on the site.  Thinking Out Loud – a huge hit received the “Song of the Year” award at the 56th Grammy.

After those successes, audiences and experts assumed that it would be difficult for Ed to overcome his own shadow. He almost froze all artistic activities in 2016 to find inspiration to compose a new album.

* MV “Thinking Out Loud”

In January, he released two singles : Shape of You and Castle on The Hill. On March 3, the male singer released the album  ÷ ( Divide) .  The album inherits the Pop color scheme mixed with a bit of Country direction on a familiar guitar background. Ed has added other musical materials such as R&B, Dance, Rap to create novelty and appeal.  ÷ ( Divide) contains all the joy, anger, love and hate in the 26 years of Ed Sheeran’s life. That is the confession of a young man born in a small countryside who faced many challenges and hardships to become a brave man (Eraser). Those are also childhood memories of his hometown in Suffolk County, England (Castle on The Hill) or the loneliness that cannot be filled (Supermarket Flowers). No matter what, that guy still lives and loves with all his heart (Shape of You).

* MV “Shape of You”

The album sold 672,000 copies in the first week in the UK, ranking third on the list of best-selling albums in the UK, behind   Ad ele ‘s 5  and   Oa sis ‘s Be Here N ow . Devide also topped the charts in many countries such as the US, Canada, Australia… Single Shape of You ranked third in the list of songs fastest to reach one billion views, after Adele’s Hello and Luis Fonsi’s Despacito – Daddy Yankee. Previously, many viewers predicted that Ed would not be able to compose a better song than Thinking Out Loud, but he proved the opposite.

* Ed Sheeran’s scene in “Game of Thrones 7”

Ed’s reputation extends beyond the music industry. Last year, he participated in the comedy-romance film Bridget Jones’s Baby as himself. In March, the producers of Game of Thrones 7 caused curiosity when revealing that Ed would appear in the series. Although his cameo did not leave much of an impression, the audience still cannot deny the influence of the name Ed Sheeran.

12 years ago, when recording and releasing  The Orange Room – his first mini album, Ed Sheeran overcame his childhood inferiority complex and declared: “We with red hair will rule the world “. And Ed has more or less done that in the field he pursues. Few people remember that three years ago, Ed Sheeran was a backup singer. He traveled with Taylor Swift across North America to sing as the opening act for her The Red Tour .

Ed Sheeran completed his world tour on August 12. Ed’s tour around Europe and England in 2018 quickly “sold out”. At the peak of his career, the 26-year-old superstar was still Ed Sheeran when he first left  Suffolk County to come to London in search of his musical dream. He is loyal to monochrome T-shirts and checkered shirts. Ed also did not give up the habit of having messy hair.

The male singer confided: ” Most people cross their limits after becoming famous. Now, I understand how that happens. But thank God I didn’t fall.” In an interview, Ed Sheeran affirmed: ” Super yachts, luxury hotels or entertainment are not the trappings of fame.” For him, the real pitfall is losing family and friends because of money.

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