Ed Sheeran: I was ginger and chubby and so struggled to get a record deal
Tuesday 02 July 2013
Chart-topping singer Ed Sheeran said he initially struggled to get a record deal because he was "ginger and chubby".
The flame-haired 22-year-old, whose hits include "The A Team" and "Lego House", said self-belief and perseverance helped him make it in the record industry, despite knock-backs on his appearance.
Sheeran, previously romantically - but erroneously, he said - linked with fellow pop star Taylor Swift, revealed he once had to perform in an empty concert venue to just a sound engineer after nobody turned up, but he continued to have faith in his guitar-based sound.
Speaking to online youth television channel SB.TV in association with the National Citizen Service (NCS), Sheeran said: "I thought to myself this seriously isn't going to work.
"I felt every gig I played, fewer and fewer people would attend and this was going nowhere. Every single label I had gone to at the time had told me this song wasn't a hit, this song wouldn't work, and the fact that I was slightly chubby and ginger wasn't a good 'marketing tool' for them. So yeah it did definitely feel like it wasn't going to happen.
"The way I maintained self-belief is that I knew I wasn't good at anything else so what else was I going to do, and secondly with the whole look and songs that the labels rejected I knew it was really important you stay true to yourself. Being an individual makes you stand out from the crowd."
Sheeran has gone on to win Brit Awards off the strength of his debut long-player, the five-times platinum +. His video on SB.TV is one of a number from the likes of singer Rita Ora and rapper Wrench 32 to share how self-belief made a difference to their lives and encourage young people to believe in themselves and make the right decisions.
Sheeran added: "It's like if you want something so badly go out there and grab, just keep on doing it - because there are people out there who do want it just as much as you do and there are people out there if given the opportunity to take my place will, so it's just as important to keep pushing yourself and working at it."
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Adam Levine's biggest fan had a panic attack upon meeting him, so the singer laid down on the floor to get a photo with him
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Fifty Shades of Grey banned by Indian censors despite sex scenes being edited out
The Great Comic Relief Bake Off, TV review: Alexa Chung impresses, but Chris Moyles makes Paul Hollywood gag
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Seth Rogan's pot fumes delay hacked Sony boss’s office move
India's Daughter: BBC Four documentary provokes outrage on Twitter
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin