Ed Sheeran: GRAMMY®s Best New Artist Nominee Spotlight

Christie Goodwin

Ed Sheeran

After beginning an independent recording career in 2005, Ed Sheeran's slow rise to stardom in the United States was quickened by some well-known pals: the 22-year-old London resident co-wrote three songs for One Direction's first two albums, and joined Taylor Swift in North America on tour after co-writing and duetting on her song "Everything Has Changed" from Swift's 2012 blockbuster "Red."

June 30, 2012: "+" debuts at its No. 5 peak on the Billboard 200.

June 30, 2012: "+" starts at its No. 2 highpoint on Top Rock Albums.

January 12, 2013: "The A Team" reaches No. 16 on the Hot 100.

November 2, 2013: "Old School Love," Lupe Fiasco's song Sheeran, peaks at No. 10 on Rap Digital Songs.

November 2, 2013: "Everything Has Changed," Taylor Swift's song featuring Sheeran, hits No. 8 on Adult Pop Songs.

Famous ties aside, the earnest brand of folk found on Sheeran's debut LP, "+," has found a stateside constituency thanks to singles like "The A Team" and "Lego House"; the album's sales now totals 751,000 copies since its June 2012 release in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. Meanwhile, Sheeran's innovative live shows -- built on looped guitar lines that multiply and eventually form percussive rock songs -- have morphed the singer-songwriter from a club warbler to a Madison Square Garden headliner.

56th GRAMMY®s Main Page

Sheeran made a splash at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards with a performance of "Lego House," a flourishing love track whose official music video has garnered 59 million YouTube views. One year after "The A Team" was nominated for the song of the year at the GRAMMY®, Sheeran will vie for the best new artist award on the eve of his sophomore album release, due out this summer on Atlantic.

In the meantime, Sheeran has contributed a new track, "I See Fire," to the soundtrack for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"; collaborated with Lupe Fiasco on the track "Old School Love"; and is a featured performer on U.K. producer Naughty Boy's debut album, "Hotel Cabana."

Ed Sheeran Timeline
Pepsi Best New Artist Video