The untold truth of Ed Sheeran

When Ed Sheeran emerged on the music scene, he blessed us with catchy tunes that swiftly rose to the top of music charts. The English singer, songwriter, and guitarist charmed the world with the release of his 2011 debut album + (pronounced as "plus"), and a lot of his appeal was based on his humble, down to earth personality, his boyish charisma, and his soulful ballads, of course. Duets with Andrea Bocelli and Beyoncé soon followed, and after working his tail off to keep us all entertained, he took a brief break from performing in 2017. His absence made us truly miss his presence in the entertainment biz, and it also made us ponder about his life, such as his upbringing and the struggles he has faced. 

We know all of his tunes by heart, but how much do we really know about the "Shape of You" singer? Here's the untold truth of Ed Sheeran.

He (sort of) slept with the Royals

After moving from his native Suffolk to London at the age of 16 to study music, he found himself unable to pay rent once his college courses came to an end. With nowhere to go, he took up shelter with the Royal Family. Okay, not really. He was technically squatting outside of the palace. "There was an arch outside Buckingham Palace that has a heating duct and I spent a couple of nights there," he revealed in his memoir Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey (via the Daily Mail).

Thankfully, his days of not having a place to call home are long gone. He made headlines when he purchased not one, not two, but four houses right next door to each other in a Suffolk village, as reported by Elle UK back in January 2018. 

Now that's what we call from rags to riches.

The sweet reason he wears an engagement ring

The world swooned when he posted an adorable Instagram photo of himself and the love of his life, Cherry Seaborn, in January 2017, along with the caption: "Got myself a fiancé [sic] just before new year. We are very happy and in love, and our cats are chuffed as well."

After sharing his exciting engagement news to the world, the singer was spotted at a concert in London with a ring on his ring finger, leading many to believe he and Seaborn had already tied the knot. When asked about the bling, Sheeran told reporters at the Brit Awards that he and Seaborn weren't married…yet. "It's an engagement ring, cause I feel like … it's good to both do things," he told a reporter, while still remaining mum on when their top secret nuptials would take place.

A man who isn't afraid to wear an engagement ring is a keeper in our book!

Eminem cured his stuttering

Sheeran was honored by the American Institute of Stuttering's Free Voices Changing Lives Benefit in 2015 and during his acceptance speech, he shed some light on the origins of his speech impediment. "I had a port-wine stain birthmark on my face that I got lasered off when I was very young," he said, "one day, they forgot to put the anesthetic on, and ever since then, I had a stutter."

The English singer was able to get rid of his stutter when his father gave him a copy of Eminem's album, The Marshall Mathers LP. "I learned every word of it back to front by the time I was 10," he said. "And he raps very fast and very melodically and very percussively and it helped me get rid of the stutter."

Sheeran's life came full circle and he was finally able to meet with the artist who had changed his life. In 2017, he and Eminem collaborated on the rapper's album Revival for the track "River," according to Billboard.

Schoolhouse drama

It's hard to imagine anyone picking on Ed Sheeran, isn't it? He's so well-liked, and it's almost impossible to find any major dirt on him. He has managed to infiltrate various circles in the entertainment industry, and he's BFFs with everyone from Taylor Swift to Jennifer Aniston. He's technically harmless — his nickname is teddy (like the bear) for goodness' sake! But despite his sweet and lovable nature and calm disposition, Sheeran's cousin, Jethro Sheeran, revealed to Yahoo!, "At school he wouldn't go out as he was bullied for having ginger hair and glasses."

While the rest of the kids were out having fun, Sheeran stayed busy and kept to himself, "working on his craft, becoming the incredible songwriter he is today," Jethro stated. 

It looks like avoiding his bullies and staying focused definitely paid off. This ginger is now winning in life, while his tormenters are likely seething!

Stinking up the stage

Accidents happen, and Sheeran isn't immune from having embarrassing moments on stage. While Fergie has been relentlessly slammed for urinating on herself while performing with the Black Eyed Peas, we think Sheeran has her beat.

In an interview with Nova FM, Sheeran played a game of "yes/no," and was asked if he ever farts on stage. Without any shame, he proudly held up the "yes" sign and said he passes gas "all the time" during his concerts. Oh, but wait, it got even worse.

The singer proceeded to tell a story about the time he "misjudged" his flatulence. "It was like midway through a performance and I was really lively, and then halfway through I was like, 'Alright I'm just going to stand for the rest of the performance, and hope it's over soon and then go home and throw these trousers out!'" Um, gross and TMI!

Under pressure

Prior to proposing to Seaborn, Sheeran spoke about heartache in many of his records. He went through the normal emotions we've all faced when dealing with a bad relationship and love gone wrong, but his fans didn't realize how much he really wanted to be in love until he gave an interview to the Mirror.

Sheeran spoke about the positive images of love he saw in his parents and grandparents' marriages. However, he admitted that their relationships put a lot of pressure on him to finally settle down in life and find his future wife. "My parents are so in love it's ridiculous. I kind of look at it like pressure," he said. "They've cracked it and my grandparents cracked it — but nowadays it's harder to find that. I hope to have kids."

Now that he and Seaborn are ready to experience wedded bliss, hopefully the pressure has let up a bit.

So long, booze

During an interview with The Breakfast Club radio show, the "Galway Girl" crooner explained his reason for dropping a ton of weight and slimming down to a smaller size. "Sweatpants were the only things that fit and I just thought everything had shrunk in the wash, but it hadn't," he joked.

He stated "it was the beer" that caused his weight to soar, and once he finally put the booze down, he "lost like 50 pounds." He hasn't swore off a nice cold brew (or two) entirely, though. He admitted that he has since been able to reintroduce the alcoholic drink back into his diet. But he has learned that the key to enjoying beer and still keeping his weight in check is to maintain an exercise regimen. 

It also helps that he's very active when he performs. Singing, dancing, and bouncing around during a two-hour set has to burn more than a few calories, right?

His infamous 'hit list'

Some celebrities are able to practice restraint when they receive bad press or a negative online review, but Sheeran wasn't one of those people at the start of his career. During a candid interview with the BBC, he admitted that he kept a "hit list" of the people and publications that didn't support him early on. "I remembered the people who didn't help, and then if they asked: 'Do you want to go on the cover of our magazine?' I'd be like: 'Hell, no,'" he explained. Although the list was likely a mental note, we would love to hear which publications and media outlets were on Sheeran's naughty list!

Nonetheless, his days of being petty are long gone, and Sheeran has since grown up and taken on a more mature approach to handling such tough criticism. "The list doesn't really exist any more," he revealed. Shucks.

Strategic ink

His body is covered in over 60 tattoos, and each piece of ink holds special meaning to him. He has images of sweet, cuddly animals, a teddy bear to honor his childhood nickname, and artwork that's dedicated to all of his friends. He even had a spot that was designated for his future wife, which will surely be turned into a tattoo shrine for Seaborn. 

His social media followers have seen a glimpse of his impressive body art that covers his chest and arms in various pictures he has posted. And although he has more tattoos than most people have pairs of shoes, he's very picky about where he gets inked, he revealed to EW. When asked which part of his body was "off-limits, inkwise," he responded: "I've always said I'll never do neck or hands—anything that can be seen in a suit, so I can get married." Aww, forever the romantic!

Substance abuse issues

His life was once on the verge of snowballing out of control, but thankfully, he was pulled back from the brink of hitting rock bottom. While speaking with The Jonathan Ross Show (via ABC), Sheeran recalled that dark period of his life, which was fueled by his attempts to adjust to being pushed into the spotlight. "All the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them…mostly substance abuse," he said. "It's all fun to begin with, it all starts off as a party and then you're doing it on your own and it's not, so that was a wake-up call."

We were quite shocked by his admission because we always assumed he was a straight edge type of guy. But his substance abuse issues are proof that you never truly know what your favorite celeb is going through behind closed doors.

He's cell phone-free

Don't even bother dialing his digits. In an interview with the BBC, the singer explained: "I was at a house party the other day and 50 percent of the people were either Snapchatting or watching Snapchat. Someone said: 'Why don't you have a phone any more?' and I was like: 'Look around you. This is exactly why I don't have a phone.'" 

If you're wondering how he's able to constantly update his Instagram account and stay connected to the online world, he explained to E! News: "I bought an iPad, and then I just work off of email, and it's so much less stress… I don't wake up in the morning and have to answer 50 messages of people asking for stuff. It's just like, I wake up and have a cup of tea."

Not everyone feels comfortable ditching their cell phone, but it seems to work for Sheeran.