Happy birthday, Ed Sheeran!
Since the "Thinking Out Loud" artist stepped on the music scene about five years ago, he has stolen our hearts like a thief in the night! With his sweet lyrics, humble demeanor and quietly determined ambition, the talented singer-songwriter has completely won the world over.
"I've always said that I wanna be known as the nicest and hardest working guy in the industry, so if I could be known as that that would be brilliant," Sheeran told SugarScape in 2012.
Well, so far, so good—not to mention he's been crazy successful along the way!
Fresh from winning two Grammys, Sheeran turns 25 today, and to commemorate the milestone we've come up with a list of 25 reasons why we think he has achieved his goal of becoming "the nicest and hardest working guy in the industry." (And BTW, how is it humanly possible for someone to have accomplished this much by only 25?! We got tired just writing this list...)
Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for EB Kids
1. Ed performed his first gig at just 11! He has admitted that if he hadn't taken this scary step, performing Eric Clapton's "Layla," he would not be where he is now.
2. At 18, in just 2009 alone, Sheeran played over 300 live gigs. Yes, you read that right, almost every single day of the year! Talk about putting in work.
Talking about what pushed him to work so hard, Sheeran told the Daily Mail in 2012, "I gigged pretty much every day. My dad cut this article out about James Morrison. He said, "Look, this dude did 200 gigs in a year. He got the experience and then he got signed." My dad's attitude is to take someone you admire and not so much copy them as take their work ethic and do it twice as much.
3. His hard work earned him the respect of Elton John, who surprised Sheeran with a phone call in 2011. John has become something of a mentor to the talented redhead and Sheeran has said they still talk on the phone weekly.
4. Sheeran is not only the nicest guy in the world, he's also one of the most romantic. In 2015, he surprised a couple at their wedding to serenade them during their first dance.
5. He's always there for a friend in need! Ed helped Jake Roche propose to girlfriend Jesy Nelson, traveling five hours on his day off to sing them their favorite song!
6. He also helped a fan propose to his girlfriend, who was battling brain cancer. Sheeran gave them front-row tickets to his show and congratulated them on their engagement.
7. He third-wheels like a pro, because that's just the kind of friend he is.
8. Ed called a terminally ill 15-year-old fan to sing her favorite song, "Little Bird," moments before she passed away.
10. And can we just look at how lovingly he caressed Jon Snow.
11. Madame Tussauds honored him with his own wax figure, and instead of complaining about its subtly lazy eye, Ed was just extremely impressed by a specific body feature.
12.Many of his first gigs were actually at homeless shelters, and Sheeran wrote "The A Team" about a woman he had met there.
13. Sheeran performed a gig in Bristol to raise money—40,000 pounds, ultimately—for a charity that aids sex workers.
14. As we've noticed by now, Sheeran loves surprising his fans. Watch as he surprises yet another fan with an impromptu duet at a mall.
15. As a former stutterer, Ed spent some of his time giving an inspirational speech on overcoming stuttering and shared his experience with children who suffer from the same affliction.
"I wanted to not necessarily shed light on stuttering or make it a thing, but stress to kids in general to just be yourself, because there's no one in the world that can be a better you than you," he explained.
16. He also performed on Sesame Street with a slightly different message for children. Note how he covers his fully tatted arms, wanting to be an even better influence.
17. The time when he and an 11-year-old exchanged donations for their favorite charities during an interview. V important.
18. Sheeran adopted this fur baby, Graham, which could have easily been Nos. 1-25 in our book.
19. Ed is a big believer in hard work and consistency. He released an autobiography, Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey, that stressed the importance of working hard and never giving up. Obviously he practices what he preaches.
20. In this book, he admits that he was homeless for a few years, but always knew where to find a bed or a floor to sleep on. He humbly thanks his social skills and alcohol for getting him through those years, but becoming one of the biggest pop singers in the world is no small feat.
21. His single "I See Fire" was used at the end credits of The Hobbit, a sign he (and his team) are always hustling.
22. In 2015, Ed launched his own record label, aptly named Gingerbread Man Records. He's already signed at least two acts.
23. In October 2015 he released his own concert movie, Jumpers for Goalposts.
24. Sheeran has received over 100 award nominations.
25. Ed's mantle must be rather crowded—he's won 42 awards, including a few Brits, and as of Monday he's also a Grammy winner, scoring "Song of the Year" and "Best Pop Solo Performance" for "Thinking Out Loud."
Not bad for 25! We hope Ed has a wonderful birthday and enjoys his well-deserved social media break—but still comes back to us soon!