Pop star and songwriter Ed Sheeran is known for his energetic solo performances with only an acoustic guitar and a loop pedal as his accompaniment. Since he shot from obscurity to become one of the biggest selling artists in the world he has experienced the rollercoaster of sudden fame. Sheeran is a fun-loving party boy but admits that although he is usually upbeat he can sometimes spiral and allow his drinking to get out of hand.
Like any pop celebrity, Sheeran must deal with the pressure of being in the public eye and a lack of privacy that at times can become overwhelming. He loves to drink with friends and hit the clubs and parties hard as often as possible to cope with the stress and feel a sense of normalcy. Although his drinking is mainly social it can be a way for him to cope with other problems that often accompany his level of success.
There have been times in the past where Sheeran admits that his alcohol habit become a problem. In 2013 when he landed a gig opening for Taylor Swift on tour and moved to Nashville he felt lonely and strange living in a different town where he didn’t know anyone. He began to drink very heavily to the point where his songwriting partner became worried and asked him to slow down a bit for his health.
These days Sheeran mainly drinks with friends in his home in West London where he feels most comfortable and doesn’t have to worry about paparazzi or fans invading his privacy. He has his own full bar at home where he likes to mix drinks for people including his celebrity friends that come to hang out.
Anxiety and Drinking at Home
Sheeran has admitted in interviews that he recently started getting problems with anxiety while in public crowds. He even attempted to go to a Game of Thrones cast party and couldn’t handle being there around the big group of people and left immediately.
Later that night a few of the Game of Thrones cast members showed up at his house and he felt at ease, making them drinks at his own bar. He admitted that he can handle a group of 20 or 30 people in his own house but out at a pub among strangers he experiences anxiety which is something he never struggled with before. He goes out less and less, favoring his own personal bar as a drinking spot.
Sheeran has struggled with fame and the way that it affected his friendships and close relationships. After Forbes revealed that he made over $57 million in 2015 he began to receive calls and texts from people in his life asking for money or to buy them a new car. It got so out of hand that the singer had to quit using his smartphone and switched to an iPad and flip phone to communicate with close family members.
Growing up and Becoming a Musician
Sheeran was bullied as a child for his red hair and noticeable stutter which many of the other kids would imitate and mock when he spoke. He learned to handle the abuse by being tough having a sense of humor. He believes he took up music as a way to feel loved and accepted by other people for his talent.
The singer dropped out of high school and moved to London when he was 16 to perform at open mics and busk on the streets. He was eventually discovered by Ben Cook, the head of Asylum records, who saw a clip of him online and liked the way people responded to his music. In 2012 his career took off when he started touring with Snow Patrol and later with Swift who was a fan of his songs and co-wrote a ballad with him.
While on tour with Swift, Sheeran began to experience a level of fame he was not used to and ended up becoming romantically involved with a number of different pop stars. However, contrary to many tabloid headlines Sheeran never dated Swift and the two remain good friends and supporters of each other’s music.
Coping with Fame
Now that Sheeran is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, he experiences invasions of privacy on a daily basis. He is sometimes freaked out by the unwanted attention and gets anxiety when people stare at him or even secretly film when he is out in public. He often deals with his anxiety by drinking and admits that he drinks almost every single day.
Although he knows his drinking sometimes gets him into trouble, the singer doesn’t believe he has a problem although he admires some of his celebrity friends who are sober and in a good place. The 25 year old wants to enjoy his career while he still can in spite of the ups and downs of fame.