Celebs Who Can't Stand Ed Sheeran

As of this writing, Ed Sheeran is one of the biggest musicians on Earth. You cannot turn on a radio anywhere without hearing his work, and he generally has an affable, approachable vibe as a slightly awkward, extremely talented ginger singer-songwriter. While Sheeran may seem sheepish, humble and harmless, there are plenty of stars and songsmiths who can't bear to be around him.

Some of that may be the result of Sheeran's own attitude: When he was reportedly "snubbed" from the bulk of 2018's Grammy nominations, he told Ellen DeGeneres that he didn't care because he got so much airplay, hinting that the nominated artists weren't fan favorites.

"That's where you win," Sheeran said. "That's where the validation comes from, where you actually see people — genuine people — enjoying the songs. ... I'd rather have a lifetime of people coming up to me and saying, like, 'This song affects me in this way, in a positive way,' and like, 'This song is my wedding song,' 'This song was my first kiss,' than anything else. I think that's where the validation comes."

He still won a Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance for his arguably objectifying track "Shape Of You" — and never showed up to get his trophy.

With that sort of entitlement in mind, let's examine just who the celebrities are who can't stand Ed Sheeran.

Nicki Minaj may think he's a 'monster'

When women of color speak out about systemic racism and sexism, people generally don't seek a rich white dude's retort — but Ed Sheeran still weighed in on the 2015 MTV VMA nominations for Video of the Year, which Nicki Minaj said celebrated skinny women almost exclusively at the expense of her "Anaconda" video. She also implied a racial element to the snub. 

Taylor Swift misinterpreted Minaj's tweet as a subtweet towards her and replied (via Billboard), "I've done nothing but love & support you. It's unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot." Minaj replied that she wasn't talking about Swift, but suggested that the Reputation singer speak on the issue.

Sheeran took it upon himself to defend Swift, telling The Daily Telegraph, "[Swift] didn't nominate herself for the awards. She just made some good videos and people think they're good ... I think the Minaj point is a bit redundant ... Her point is that you have to be skinny and white to get a Video of the Year nomination, but Beyoncé's '7/11' is in there, and that is celebrating the female figure in every form."

Sheeran later told BuzzFeed UK that his words were taken out of context. Minaj won, however, when a video of heavily buzzed Sheeran attempting her "Monster" verse went viral ... and she praised him for it, which many of her beloved Barbz interpreted as shade.

Ellie Goulding didn't want anyone to think they ever dated

In August 2013, Sheeran was spotted holding hands with Ellie Goulding at the VMAs. By September 2013, he said in a radio interview (via E! News), "I mean, normal people don't hold hands if they're just friends ... It was going on. And now it's not."

Fast forward to 2014: Sheeran drops "Don't," which many believed to be about Goulding, who was linked to Niall Horan just after she and Sheeran were linked. (Sample lyric: "I never saw him as a threat / Until you disappeared with him to have sex, of course / It's not like we were both on tour / We were staying on the same f**king hotel floor.")

In March 2015, Sheeran told EW that he never confirmed the track was about Goulding, but he didn't deny it. "I had to be as honest as possible in that song because otherwise what's the f**king point?" he said. "It didn't necessarily have to go on the album, but it definitely needed to be written."

That July, Goulding told Elle UK, "I did go on a few dates with Niall, but I was never in a relationship with Ed. I have absolutely no idea where that came from and why it was turned into such a big thing." She addressed him in "On My Mind," singing, among a slew of other direct jabs at "Don't," "You wanted my heart but I just liked your tattoos."

Even Elton John has taken a shot at him

Elton John acted as a mentor and friend to Sheeran for years — Sheeran was signed to his Rocket Management Company — but even the "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" singer got tired of Sheeran's schtick after a while, warning him that he was getting too ubiquitous for his own good and not to get used to his success.

"On the [US radio] chart, which is the middle-of-the-road chart, Ed is still No.1 and 'Shape Of You' is still in the chart," John griped on George Ezra's podcast (via NME) in May 2018. "It's like, 'Why?' How many times do you want to listen to these things?"

Granted, John still had loads of affection for his uber popular protege a year earlier, when he told Rolling Stone, "I love him to death." However, the sentiment was not without a dash of his signature shade. "He was so omnipresent I said, 'Ed, even I'm sick of you. Go away.' And he did," John recalled. "He just went to the Far East with his girlfriend, had a great time, put on a lot of weight, ate food and came back." We see what you did there, Rocket Man. 

A rapper named Wiley is sick of his cultural appropriation

Rapper Wiley featured on Sheeran's song "You" in 2011, but claims Sheeran then refused to feature on his work later, telling The Guardian, "I did a tune for him, he didn't want to do one for me. I know Ed doesn't hate me and I don't hate him. When you get to a certain level you're not allowed to work with people who are not on your level. That's the problem."

Clearly, Wiley's beef with Sheeran isn't personal — He even once praised Sheeran as a "god-like genius." — but the British MC hasn't pulled punches over his perception of Sheeran's relationship with the music industry, especially in their native UK.

In 2014, Wiley voiced his discontentment with Sheeran's appropriation of black and urban music after 1Xtra named Sheeran the "most important artist" in that scene in the UK. "Not taking anything away from Ed ... But black artists in England, we are getting bumped," Wiley tweeted (via The Independent). "We influence a man and all of a sudden it turns he has influenced us. England music industry is backwards." Wiley also noted that it was the "saddest list in music history."

In 2017, Wiley continued his half-hearted Sheeran shade, telling Vlad TV"Ed Sheeran sort of came through my scene and became famous, and no one really knows it." He continued, "I respect Ed but I've had loads of little fallouts with him." 

He's not edgy enough for Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus, of the forever-protruded tongue, twerking phase, and, as of this writing, transitioning back to her country roots, shaded Sheeran in a May 2017 interview will Billboard, telling the magazine that her Younger Now album was "not granola" because she doesn't "listen to Ed Sheeran and John Mayer and stuff."

The shade may have stemmed from years before, when Sheeran himself — who's been accused of appropriating culture like Cyrus has — told The Mirror (via The Daily Mail) in 2013, "I think encouraging young people to twerk might be a bad thing. ... If I had a daughter of nine, I wouldn't want her twerking."

He also quipped that Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" "was a brilliant song, but the video distracts too much from it." Cyrus may have caught wind of his commentary, because at the MTV Video Music Awards in August 2014, she was caught allegedly mouthing a profanity in his direction.

Julian Casablancas tried to be diplomatic about it

Julian Casablancas doesn't necessarily have a personal dislike for Sheeran, but his suggestion to Vulture that Sheeran's success is perhaps due to "cultural brainwashing" doesn't exactly sound like a compliment. The Strokes frontman expanded on his theory in a March 2018 interview with the mag, saying, "People grow up with norms knocked into their heads ... I'm not trying to diss Ed Sheeran or any pop star. Ed Sheeran seems like a nice, cool guy and I have nothing against his music. Let him sell a billion records. I'm just saying I don't understand why there can't be a world where Ed Sheeran gets 60 percent of the attention and Ariel Pink gets 40 percent. Now it's almost like Ed Sheeran gets 99.5 percent of it."

Casablancas also said that Sheeran's music is "not my thing," and that the ginger crooner's popularity can largely be attributed to music industry "propaganda." But hey, at least he thinks Sheeran is a "cool guy," right? 

Morrissey thinks he's a plague on music

Former Smiths frontman Morrissey's views of Sheeran are similar to Casablancas', but he was much less diplomatic in expressing them. The "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" singer griped to Boulder Weekly that Sheeran's success is a symptom of a commercialization epidemic within the music industry.

"We are now in the era of marketed pop stars, which means that the labels fully control the charts, and consequently the public has lost interest. It's very rare that a record label does something for the good of music," Morrissey said. "Thus, we are force-fed such as Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, which at least means that things can't possibly get any worse. It is sad, though. There's no spontaneity now, and it all seems to be unsalvageable." Yeesh, tell us how you really feel!

But this is one beef from which Sheeran didn't back down, however, as he took to Twitter to denounce Morrissey's remarks as "absolute bollocks," and offer a defense of Smith, who he referred to as "the least predictable success story of the last year." 

Quite a few songwriters

Marvin Gaye isn't alive to accuse Sheeran of ripping off "Let's Get It On" for "Thinking Out Loud," but the daughter of Gaye's co-songwriter of the track, Edward Townsend (who died in 2003) sued Sheeran in 2016, TMZ reported. In court documents obtained by TMZ, Sheeran and his team denied copying Townsend and Gaye's work, saying that the similarities presented were "extremely commonplace" in popular music — and that the songs weren't actually that similar overall.

In June 2016, songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard sued Sheeran for allegedly copying their song "Amazing" (penned for Matt Cardle) for Sheeran's hit "Photograph." Harrington and Leonard accused Sheeran of lifting their track "note for note," The Guardian reported at the time, with court documents alleging, "The similarities go beyond substantial, which is itself sufficient to establish copyright infringement, and are in fact striking. The similarity of words, vocal style, vocal melody, melody, and rhythm are clear indicators ... that 'Photograph' copies 'Amazing.'" The case was later settled, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In January 2018, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Sheeran was sued again. Aussie songwriters Sean Carey and Beau Golden alleged Sheeran "blatantly" copied their song "When I Found You" for a song Sheeran wrote for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill called "The Rest of Our Life." The similarities between the tracks are uncanny, but TMZ reported that Sheeran insisted they weren't similar and requested the suit be dismissed.