We Had No Idea Ed Sheeran Wrote Hit Songs for Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift

ByQuyen Anne

Mar 7, 2024

It’s common knowledge that Ed Sheeran can sing, but did you know he also can write?

The 26-year-old English singer rose to fame after releasing his debut studio album — + — which launched him into the spotlight. And the “Shape of You” hitmaker has lent his songwriting abilities to a number of artists in the industry. In fact, a bunch of popular hits were actually penned by the star.

“I’ve only ever written songs from the heart,” he explained about what inspires his writing. “I don’t really see the point in making music if it’s not an expression of self or a form of therapy.”

“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber

Fans might be surprised to learn that the track from Justin’s Purpose album was actually written by Ed. He originally wrote it for his album, Divide, but admits that the “Sorry” singer was responsible for making it a hit.

“It just wouldn’t have made it and then Justin took it and did his thing on it, and released it as a single and made it what it is,” Ed said. “So going from a song that would have never been released to [being] the biggest song of last year — it just became Billboard’s number one of 2016 of the whole year, and [was] nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammys — it just shows you that you shouldn’t always write stuff off.”

“Little Things” — One Direction

The former UK boy band had a helping hand from Ed when it came to crafting singles. The singer wrote the song at the tender age of 17 and claimed the tune includes one his favorite lines. The poppy folk ballad is certified platinum and was their second number-one hit in the UK.

“Tattoo” — Hilary Duff

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The former Disney star made a point to work with Ed on her comeback album and has since spoken out about his commitment to the music.

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“He vocally produced it and came in the booth with me,” she told MTV News. “I was really intimidated because, normally, they don’t do that, so I kept looking up and being like, ‘You’re Ed Sheeran and I’m singing the song that you wrote and I want to do right by it.'”

“Say You Love Me” — Jessie Ware

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Jessie put this song on her Tough Love album, which is full of other love songs. The singer expressed how much she loved working with Ed on the song.

“It was such a pleasure to work with him because he is ridiculously talented,” Jessie remarked. “I feel lucky that I got a glimpse of him in the flesh writing a song. I have nothing but love and admiration. He’s prolific and will be around forever.”

“Everything Has Changed” — Taylor Swift feat. Ed Sheeran

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Ed not only offered his songwriting talents but also his vocals for the duet, which appeared on Taylor’s Red album. The two artists are best friends, so it makes sense that they decided to collaborate on a song.

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“Cold Water” — Major Lazer feat. Justin Bieber and MØ

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The story of how “Cold Water” came to fruition is an interesting one. Ed recalled to Billboard how he didn’t even remember he’d written the hit. “It was a song I must’ve half-written somewhere at a time where I was writing a lot of songs… And then the song came out and it was number one and I was like ‘Oh, that song!’ I remember doing it, but it was really, really slow. I remember hearing it and being like ‘That kind of sounds like me. Oh wait, it was me,'” he shared.

“Hotel Ceiling” — Rixton

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The English pop band used this track as the third single for their debut studio album, Let the Road. The song received mostly positive reviews from critics.

“18” — One Direction

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These Brits have worked together more than once. Ed also helped the boys of 1D with the ballad “18.” Simon Cowell said he actually propositioned him first about writing the song. “It’s turned out really well, Ed’s a real star and the fact that he did it in such a short space of time but he was so focused and he’s a brilliant songwriter,” he revealed.

“Lay It All On Me” — Rudimental feat. Ed Sheeran

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The relationship between Ed and Rudimental goes both ways. They helped with “Bloodstream” for one of Ed’s albums, so it was only right that he helped the group save the song they said “was about to be scrapped.”

“I Was Made For Loving You” — Tori Kelly feat. Ed Sheeran

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It’s impossible to listen to this sweet ballad without falling completely in love with it. Unfortunately, Ed knows this all too well and considers it the only song he regrets giving away.

“I remember writing that with Tori and said before, ‘Whatever we write, definitely for your album, don’t worry about it,'” he explained. “And remember halfway through being like ‘Aghhh, God I wish I was keeping this.’ It is a really beautiful song and it’s turned out so, so well. But that’s one song that I wish I’d kept.”

What a talented artist!

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