Ed Sheeran is proof that nice guys finish last first.
His first album +, sold almost four million copies and his current hit single "Sing," which features Pharrell Williams, is quickly becoming the hit song of the summer.
But despite his rising superstar status, Sheeran has remained as humble as ever, so much so that he seems to be one of the rare folks in Hollywood who will never let fame go to his head.
"It's the time of being polite," the red-headed crooner tells Parade magazine's latest issue. "Radio stations aren't going to play you if you show up late. You have to be respectful and do your job."
He continued, citing his BFF Taylor Swift as a role model for how to act in the biz. "You can guarantee that Taylor will always be professional and polite, and if you want to be as big as her, you have to be just as professional and polite," he explains. "If you're not, radio stations will say, 'Hmmm, he wasn't very nice to us yesterday, but she was lovely, so we're going to play her records.' "
Smart guy—and it's Sheeran sweet demeanor that has won over millions of fans.
Although the singer admits he doesn't have a squeaky clean past, he prefers to take responsibility for his actions—unlike many other "entitled" celebs.
One example? The "Give Me Love" singer recalls a "wicked" night in L.A. following a Grammys afterparty this year when he and his friends piled the contents of his hotel room into his bathtub.
"I felt so bad and said, ‘Oh, someone's going to have to clean this up.' So I literally de-trashed my room and put it back to normal," he reveals. "If I trash a hotel room, will anyone like me more? You're not going to have kids going, 'Oh, that's really cool and edgy.' You're probably going to get a ticked-off maid and that's about it."
Still, despite having performed with the likes of Elton John, Taylor Swift and Pharrell Williams, Sheeran still has difficulty coming to grips with his fame.
"I do pinch myself sometimes," he says. "I have so many moments like that. I grew up listening to John Mayer and Jason Mraz and the other day, [I got] emails from them. Stuff like that blows my mind."
The newly engaged brunette (who he even introduced to her fiancé!) is the "sweetest girl," Sheeran says, adding that becoming friends with the two stars he watched on TV growing up is quite "surreal."
But while Sheeran has been more than grateful for his killer career, he also has a backup plan for when his pop star days come to an end.
"I know this isn't going to last forever. Now is the time when I'm making my musical statements and being cool and going to parties. But I don't think I'll be living this life in 10 years' time. If I am, please slap me," he says.
So where will Sheeran be at age 33? "Back home, bunch of kids," he reveals. "At 33, I should be starting to settle down."
Until then, keep the hits coming, Ed!