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Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ed Sheeran

VO: Lisa Yang
Give this guy a guitar and he’ll make a little magic. For this list, we’re ranked the best but little-known facts about everybody’s favourite English music man. Did you know what he has a Nando’s black card? That all of his guitars have names?

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Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ed Sheeran

Give this guy a guitar and he’ll make a little magic. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 things you didn’t know about Ed Sheeran!

For this list, we’re ranked the best but lesser-known facts about everybody’s favorite English music man.

#10: He Has a Nando’s Black Card

Ed’s a huge fan of Nando’s, the massively popular Mozambican/Portuguese restaurant chain, and is reportedly the proud owner of its most coveted loyalty card. The mythical Nando’s black card entitles the user to all-you-can-eat peri-peri chicken, anytime, FREE. The card’s so rare, many doubt it even exists, and Ed’s joked that it’s a better indicator of fame and success than anything. Ed’s love affair with the chain is mutual, as Nando’s even named a sauce after him! But, if you’re wondering how Sheeran usually takes his chicken, he goes for medium strength sauce – those vocal cords are hot enough as it is!

#9: All of Ed’s Guitars Have Names

Mr. Sheeran is never too far away from a musical instrument of some description, but his guitars are some of his most prized possessions. In fact, Ed gets so attached to his guitars that he ends up giving them all nicknames. There’ve been plenty throughout his career – including Lloyd, Cyril, Felix and Nigel, which are all the names of people on his crew. But our favorite is a tale Ed told Radio Disney, in which he accidentally kicked and cracked a six-string during a show. That instrument had been named James, so its replacement, naturally, was given the title James the Second.

#8: He’s a Big Rap Fan

And his favorite rapper is none other than Eminem. Ed has often spoken of his admiration for Slim Shady, and he even credits The Marshall Mathers LP as having cured him of a stutter when he was a kid: his dad bought him the album when he was 9, and within a year he’d memorized the entire thing. The Detroit superstar isn’t the only rapper to tickle Ed’s fancy either; he’s a big fan of Ty Dollar Sign, and memorably paired up with the UK grime and hip-hop artist Stormzy at the 2017 Brit Awards.

#7: He’s a One-Man Band

Thanks to Ed’s masterful use of the loop pedal, the vast majority of what you hear at a Sheeran show comes courtesy of the man himself. He builds layers to his music and feeds them into his live performances at the flick of a switch (or the tap of a toe), before laying his unique vocals overtop. While the pedal looks profoundly complicated, it’s essentially a recording and playback device. But, of course, its effectiveness depends on the awesomeness of what’s being recorded. In Ed’s case, everything is of the highest order.

#6: He Can Play Pretty Much Anything

Clearly he’s gifted on the acoustic guitar, but Ed’s musical talents don’t stop there – he can also play bass guitar, drums, piano and cello. We’d bet you could give this guy almost any instrument, and he’d be producing perfect melodies within minutes. While Ed cut his teeth playing pubs and clubs around the UK, he also enrolled at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Surrey, England, at age 18. Just months later, however, he hopped a plane to LA and started making waves in America, even catching the eye of Jamie Foxx. A multi-talented man, Sheeran was well on his way to folk-pop greatness.

#5: He Was Interview by WatchMojo

On the back of “Plus,” Ed’s debut album, WatchMojo couldn’t wait to sit down with the world’s next big thing. Chatting in 2012, the singer-songwriter took us through his inspiration for “The A Team” and the reasoning behind the famous Rupert Grint video for “Lego House.” Back then he was understated, charismatic and always ready with a joke or two – and his ever-escalating fame doesn’t seem to have changed him. It’s not every day you get a global pop star admiring another global pop star for getting frisky with fruit, after all!

#4: He Draws Inspiration from Anywhere & Everywhere

As he explained when speaking with WatchMojo, Ed’s inspiration for “The A Team” came from visiting a homeless shelter, with the lyrics based on the life of a woman he met there. His fifth single, “Small Bump” was written after a close friend of his suffered a miscarriage, and the words for “Photograph” discuss long-distance relationships – on the back of Ed’s own experience while touring. “Drunk” somewhat unsurprisingly addresses the effects of alcohol when dealing with a break-up, while “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” takes a shot at record companies that ask artists to change to achieve fame – something our man Ed wisely has not done.

#3: He’s Got Ink, and Lots of It

Despite his largely clean-cut image, Ed has an apparently insatiable taste for tattoos – with over 60 multi-colored designs already etched onto his body, and plans for lots more. During his 2016 hiatus, when he also ditched social media and detoxed from alcohol, the musician spent a grueling 40 hours under the needle adding to his collection, which includes a family tree, a section of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” homages to Taylor Swift, The Gingerbread Man from “Shrek” and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and a recreation of a Matisse on his right forearm. He also boasts a portrait of the children’s TV character Pingu, as part of a joint tattoo he got in 2012 with One Direction’s Harry Styles.

#2: He’s a Philanthropist

When he’s not making hit records, Ed is keen to give back to the community and has remained loyal to the areas where he grew up, especially the English county of Suffolk, where 2015 reports suggested he’d taken time out to help in a local charity shop. In 2012 he helped raise £40,000 by playing a gig in Bristol for One25, a charity for street sex workers, while he’s also backed the East Anglian Children’s Hospice, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Grammy Foundation. Whether he’s donating all his clothes to good causes or opening new suites at elderly care homes, Ed’s often described as the nicest guy in pop music.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- He Gave Harry Styles a Tattoo
- His Favorite Halloween Costume Was the Gingerbread Man from “Shrek”
- Elton John Is a Huge Ed Sheeran Fan

#1: He’s Written a Lot of Your Favorite Songs

You may be well versed in Ed’s own music, but did you know that Sheeran’s also responsible for many other world-famous records? He co-wrote Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” and The Weeknd’s “Dark Times,” penned Hillary Duff’s “Tattoo,” and collaborated with Rudimental for “Lay It All on Me,” Tori Kelly for “I Was Made for Loving You” and Lupe Fiasco on “Old School Love.” Want more? Ed also partnered with Taylor Swift on “Everything Has Changed” – which featured on Taylor’s ‘Red Tour’, where Ed was the opening act – and he co-wrote One Direction’s certified platinum single, “Little Things.” Not bad for just one bloke and a guitar!

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