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 and has had a song appear in the second installment of The Hobbit trilogy.
Ed Sheeran was born on February 17, 1991, in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. When he was young, he began playing guitar, showing early promise as a musical talent. When he was 11, Sheeran met singer-songwriter Damien Rice backstage at one of Rice’s shows, and the young musician found added inspiration. As the story goes, Rice told Sheeran to write his own music, and Sheeran set out the next day to do just that.
It wasn’t long before Sheeran was recording CDs and selling them, and he soon put together his first official EP, The Orange Room. With that accomplishment and his abiding ambition driving him, at only 14 years of age, Sheeran headed to London for the summer. Thinking he could find gigs on the big city, Sheeran left home with his guitar and a backpack full of clothes, and his musical career took flight.
Once in London, Sheeran got busy recording and playing the local singer-songwriter circuit and quickly released two albums: a self-titled record in 2006 and Want Some? in 2007. He also began opening for more established acts, such as Nizlopi, the Noisettes and Jay Sean, and released another EP, You Need Me, in 2009, a year that found Sheeran playing more than 300 live shows.
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.
The Next Level
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.