Ed Sheeran is a very successful music creator whose music recording career started in 2004, although he had been singing since he was 4 in a local church choir and started playing guitar when he was young. He started writing songs when he was in high school and developed further as a writer as he got older. As a young performer he was able to develop a huge fan base as he released his first singles and EPs and as his YouTube videos became more popular. In 2011 he signed with Asylum Records and released his first album “+” (Plus), which since then has gone platinum 7 times in the UK. This album contained the single “The A Team” which won the Ivor Novello award for best song musically and lyrically and was nominated for song of the year at the 2013 Grammys. In 2012, he also won Best British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards. His second album “X” (multiply) was released in 2014, going number one in the UK and US, as well as winning Album of the Year in 2015 at the Brit Awards. He then won another Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of the Year and won two Grammy awards for his single “Thinking Out Loud”. In March 2017, he released his third album “÷” (Divide), which broke many records, along with the singles released before the album. “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” were released in January and became instant hits, going into the top two positions on the UK singles chart, which is the first time one artist has ever gotten two singles released at the same time into the top 10. They also became the highest streamed songs in 24 hours after they were released on Spotify with a combination of 13 million streams. When Divide was released, 10 of the songs took up all 10 spaces of the UK singles chart His song Shape of You became a very successful song during 2017, being number one on the singles charts in 44 countries including the UK, US, Australia and Canada. It was number one for 16 consecutive weeks in Canada, 14 weeks non-consecutively on the UK singles chart, 12 non-consecutive weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100 and became the most streamed song on Spotify with 1.32 billion streams in September 2017. It also became the Best Performing Song of 2017 and got over 3 billion views on YouTube. Down to its success, it has become a very influential song causing it to be an incredibly recognisable, and also causing many remixes and versions of the song to be made down to the simple backing and catchy lyrics. Shape of You was originally meant to be written for Rhianna, but during the writing period Ed was convinced to use the song himself even though he had already written all the songs he intended to put on his Divide album. The song is written in a C# minor key with a 96 bpm tempo in a 4/4 time signature. It uses the chords C#m, F#m, A, and B with a i, iv, VI, VII chord progression. Ed Sheeran’s vocal range on the song is from G#2 to G#4. He has also proved himself to be very good at writing songs of varying styles, starting off by writing acoustic folk with songs such as “The A Team”, and has gone more into pop with songs such as “Sing”, “Shape of You” and songs he’s written for other artists such as “Love Yourself” for Justin Bieber which all vary from other songs he has written. He has strived to keep to his song writing routes though in songs such as “Castle on the Hill” which contrasts heavily to the pop single “Shape of You” he released for his album Divide. Because of his varying styles of songs, it means that he will appeal to many different audiences and his influence will go further down to his music being appealing to many different people of different ages and backgrounds. His lyrics and music are also able to make many of his songs very catchy, meaning they will stay in people’s heads. He also doesn’t stray from adult lyrics meaning his music doesn’t just appeal to younger people, meaning he will sell to and influence a lot more people. Ed has also been able to work with many other influential musicians and writers such as performing with Elton John, Passenger, John Mayer and Eric Clapton and writing with artists such as Pharrell Williams. He’s also had collaborations with influential artists such as Eminem on the track “River” and with Beyoncé on an acoustic version of his song “perfect”, which later became the 2017 Christmas number one. He’s also written for many influential artists such as Taylor Swift, One Direction (including their second UK number one hit “Little Things”, Justin Bieber (with his number one hit song “Love Yourself”) and also wrote the end credit song “I See Fire” for the second Hobbit film; “The Desolation of Smaug”. It’s obvious that Ed was seen to have a lot of potential even at the start of his career as Elton John, who owned the record label that Sheeran was on at the time, wanted him to play “The A Team” at the 2013 Grammys he was nominated for, but because he wasn’t high profile enough, they didn’t want to give him a space to play. To solve this though, Elton played with him so he was given a chance. This helped give him a kick even further into the public eye, and shows that an influential artist wanted to give him a shot and let his potential out, causing Sheeran to become an even more influential artist in the future. Ed has also been influential, not just as a songwriter, but also in his helping of charities. He held gigs to raise money for street sex workers, gives clothes to charity, is an ambassador for East Anglia Children’s Hospice and joined Band Aid 30 to raise money for the Ebola Crisis in 2014 as well as, helping in the No Cold Homes campaign by the charity Turn2Us and helped with Cancer research UK’s Stand Up to Cancer campaign. This shows he cares for other people and is very influential as he can influence others to help with charities, and has helped the people he has raised money for and given clothing to. Another example of how he has helped other is recently when he visited a terminally ill child who was a very big fan of his in hospital. He was her favourite artist and his music often was the only thing that could calm her down when she was ill, showing how influential his music can be for fans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dK2tDK9grQ – Shape Of You
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