[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Ed Sheeran is opening up like never before.
The Shape of You singer spoke to Rolling Stone for their upcoming April issue on Tuesday, and he’s ready to share his struggles with the world. In the interview the notoriously private musician spoke on a broad range of topics — and even gave a rare look inside his family life with his wife Cherry Seaborn and their two daughters Lyra and Jupiter.
Kicking off the interview, Ed spoke about F64, the song he released in January to honor the memory of best friend Jamal Edwards, who died suddenly in 2022. The 32-year-old hitmaker said he didn’t really “address” his own mental health until after his friend’s death:
“My best friend died. And he shouldn’t have done … I’ve always had real lows in my life. But it wasn’t really till last year that I actually addressed it.”
The Thinking Out Loud singer and his self-proclaimed “brother” were so close there was even once a rumor they were more than friends:
“That was a big rumor in the industry. And I don’t think anyone thought that I knew the rumor. But I get it, man. I lived in his room! … God knows how long [I lived with Edwards]. Like, I get why people would think that. We used to go on holidays together.”
Ed went on to say the night Jamal overdosed on cocaine he was sitting and having dinner with Taylor Swift and her boyfriend Joe Alwyn. He and his best friend were texting over dinner making plans to shoot a music video, and “twelve hours later he was dead.” So heartbreaking, but sadly his struggles didn’t stop there…
Ed would then go on to lose another friend — Australian cricketer Shane Warne — and it left him with suicidal thoughts:
“I didn’t want to live anymore… I have had that throughout my life. You’re under the waves drowning. You’re just sort of in this thing. And you can’t get out of it.”
The Shivers singer said he felt his thoughts were “selfish” and he was “embarrassed” about them because he’s a father now, but ultimately his wife encouraged him to get help:
“No one really talks about their feelings where I come from. People think it’s weird getting a therapist in England. I think it’s very helpful to be able to speak with someone and just vent and not feel guilty about venting. Obviously, like, I’ve lived a very privileged life. So my friends would always look at me like: ‘Oh, it’s not that bad.’ The help isn’t a button that is pressed, where you’re automatically OK. It is something that will always be there and just has to be managed.”
Mental health can affect anyone no matter their status or background, it’s wonderful more people are talking about it to end the stigma.
Teddy’s mental health struggles started at a very young age, according to the pop star. He said being a “small” kid “with a stutter” and “red hair” at a sports-focused school made him a target for bullying as he didn’t fit in with the more athletic kids. The bullying didn’t dissipate after he found fame, though, and he found himself even more “self-conscious” than before:
“I’m self-conscious anyway, but you get into an industry where you’re getting compared to every other pop star. I was in the One Direction wave, and I’m like, ‘Well, why don’t I have a six pack?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, because you love kebabs and drink beer.’ Then you do songs with Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes. All these people have fantastic figures. And I was always like, ‘Well, why am I so … fat?’”
He said he found himself “doing what Elton John” described in his book — seemingly alluding to bulimia. He addressed his problems with binge eating though — and now has replaced it with healthier activities to overdo:
“I have a real eating problem. I’m a real binge eater. I’m a binge-everything. But I’m now more of a binge exerciser, and a binge dad. And work, obviously.”
You can’t go wrong being too much of a dad! Most guys go wrong with doing too little!
As we previously reported, his wife Cherry was diagnosed with a tumor during her second pregnancy and had to get surgery to fix it. She ultimately gave birth to Jupiter in June, the morning of a concert, and it left Ed feeling helpless:
“There’s nothing you can do about it. You feel so powerless.”
We’re so glad both mother and child are healthy. And speaking of health…
Ed also went on to open up about his sobriety. After losing Jamal to a drug overdose and “dabbling” with substances in his youth — he was once again encouraged by his family to get help:
“Two months before Lyra was born, Cherry said, ‘If my waters break, do you really want someone else to drive me to the hospital?’ Because I was just drinking a lot. And that’s when it clicked. I was like, ‘No, actually, I really don’t.’ And I don’t ever want to be pissed holding my kid. Ever, ever. Having a couple of beers is one thing. But having a bottle of vodka is another thing. It’s just a realisation of, ‘I’m getting into my 30s. Grow up! You’ve partied, you’ve had this experience. Be happy with that and just be done.’”
An extremely powerful wake up call… And it worked! Now, he says, he’s done with that life for good:
“I would never, ever, ever touch anything again, because that’s how Jamal died.”
While continuing to heal and manage his mental health, the Photograph singer has also found better ways to ignore the haters — and he doesn’t care if they like his upcoming record Subtract or not:
“All my biggest records, they hate. Someone who’s never liked my music ever? And sees me as the punchline to a joke? For him to suddenly be like, ‘Oh, you’re not as s**t as I thought you were?’ That doesn’t mean anything.”
And good news, Sheerios! Ed has got major plans for his future in music — till death. Literally:
“I want to slowly make this album that is quote-unquote ‘perfect’ for the rest of my life, adding songs here and there. And just have it in my will that after I die, it comes out.”
Very interesting concept! He could call it Sum — it’s both a math term, and it would be the sum of all his years of songwriting work! What do U think about an album being in his will, Perezcious readers?
It looks like Ed is finally ready to break down his walls and share more of his personal life with the world. We’re sending him and his family so much love and healing.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available. Consider contacting the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, by calling, texting, or chatting, or go to 988lifeline.org.
If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse, help is available. Consider checking out the resources SAMHSA provides at https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline or check out StartYourRecovery.org
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, there is help available. Consider visiting https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ or call their hotline at (800)-931-2237 for resources.