Taylor Swift has seen Ed Sheeran at some of his highest and lowest points and one thing she always knew about her one-time opening act is that Ed would some day reach his ultimate goal. In a touching essay about her pal penned for Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World issue, Swift recounts how Sheeran started writing songs and playing instruments early on as a boy in Framlingham, Suffolk, but unlike so many hopefuls, he was destined for something greater.
“Whether by choice or an unconscious evolution, when he decided on his musical ambitions, Ed became less of a boy and more of a tank,” she writes. “He is protected by an impenetrable and ever-present armor of enthusiasm that has helped him endure any setback, letdown or underestimation. His reaction to any idea that fails is to almost immediately come up with a new one. He’s like a fighter who pops back up on his feet before you even noticed he’d been knocked down.”
Sheeran, whose third album, ÷, continues to crush charts across the globe, hasn’t always been the confident, mega-selling juggernaut he is today. Swift tells the story of how a few years ago in “a moment of admitting feeling defeated,” Ed told her that he feared “I’m never going to win a Grammy.” Yes, you are, she assured him, adding that she was confident he’d sweep the awards someday.
“It was a few weeks later when he met me in a dance-shoe store in London, where I was picking out rehearsal outfits, and said, ‘You have to hear this,'” she writes. “It was a song he’d just finished called ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ which went on to win Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 2016.”
Swift congratulates Sheeran on his success and says, “for the legacy you’ve already built and the brilliant hook you probably just came up with five minutes ago.” Click here to read the entire essay.