Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who recently graced the cover of Billboard, paid a visit to "Saturday Night Live" on April 12 to preview two new tracks from his upcoming sophomore album, "x," due June 23 on Atlantic Records.
Supported by an electric guitar, bass, drums and backup singer, the 23-year-old Brit performed new single "Sing," which finds the artist shifting from acoustic-based folk to highly-polished pop. The funk-tinged track, which was co-written and co-produced by Pharrell William, is expected to make a noteworthy debut on this week's Billboard Hot 100. For his second 'SNL' song, Sheeran debuted the angsty breakup song "Don't," which was co-produced by Benny Blanco and Rick Rubin.
Watch Sheeran's "SNL" the performances below.
This week's "SNL" opened with a timely spoof of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, where members of the Republican Party greeted festival-goers from the main stage to comedically discuss gay marriage and unemployment. "I understand you're all pretty riled up for your headliner, but before we bring out the Outkasts, we want to welcome you to stop by our GOP tent," announced U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan, who was played by "SNL" cast member Taran Killam. Rap duo Outkast, of course, headlined the opening day of Coachella on April 11. See the sketch below.
Meanwhile, Sheeran's good friend and tourmate Taylor Swift also made a cameo on this week's "SNL." During third-time host Seth Rogan's opening monologue, in which he insisted he didn't need any assistance from friends, Swift walked out onstage after other brief cameos by James Franco and Zooey Deschanel. "You're getting very upset and whenever a man shows emotion, I appear," Swift said in a fairy godmother-like tone.