Ed Sheeran: Fans Brought Me To A Turning Point With Alcohol

By Bryan Le 07/17/17

Pop star Ed Sheeran recalls his rocky relationship with drinking and performing in his new autobiography.

Ed Sheeran seen leaving BBC studios on 30, Sep, 2014 in London
Sheeran took his fan's words to heart.

Before he struck gold with his hits, Ed Sheeran was drinking heavily, performing drunk and sleeping outdoors. In his new autobiography, Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey, the “Shape of You” singer reveals that he didn’t clean up his act until a fan approached him after a gig and shared some advice. 

Before he was performing in front of massive crowds, the pop singer sang his songs in pubs in return for beer and food. Sheeran recalls having to rough it a few times over the years.

"There were some hairy periods," Sheeran recalled. "I spent about a week catching up on sleep on the Circle line trains.”

At times, he recounts, he was basically homeless. “There's an arch outside Buckingham Palace that has a heating duct and I spent a couple nights there,” he said.

His performances during this time were also drenched in alcohol, with a drunk Sheeran having a little too much fun on stage.

“I’d drink at gigs and I’d be drunk on stage. The guy at the bar who ran them (the gigs), used to liquor me up to get into it,” he remembered. “He’d bring tequila shots after every song.”

Sheeran’s turning point came after a fan approached him after a show, telling him that the gig was “was terrible, really disappointing.” Following that encounter, Sheeran promised himself that he would clean up his act and give fans the performance they deserved.

“I’m never drinking before a gig again,” he vowed.

That isn’t to say that Sheeran has stopped drinking—far from it. In a feature by Rolling Stone in March this year, “Pop’s Hardcore Troubadour” still parties and drinks—hard. When asked if he thinks he drinks too much, Sheeran replied:

"Often, I'm like, 'Is it bad that I drink almost every single day?' And then I look at my friends and most of them do the same. And they're actually worse than me. The first thing Americans say is, 'There's a problem, and you need to go to rehab.' But I don't wake up and drink. I don't depend on drink. I can go without it completely. I just enjoy going out and having fun, being 25. And I think that's a normal thing."

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter