Ed Sheeran gives inspiring speech, saying: 'Embrace your weirdness'

The singer says his stutter made him stand out at a young age

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The Independent Online

Ed Sheeran gave a speech telling young people to "embrace your weirdness".

Speaking at the 9th Annual American Institute for Stuttering Benefit Gala, he said that Eminem helped him get over his speech impediment.

"I was a very, very weird child. Very weird child. And I had a port-wine stain birthmark on my face that I got lasered off when I was very young, and one day they forgot to put the anesthetic on, and then ever since then I had a stutter, and I also had very, very big blue NHS glasses – NHS is the National Health Service. One day, I hope you’ll have the same."

Sheeran is now a major recording artist and songwriter, but he explained that he also struggled with hearing problems.


He said: "I lacked an ear drum on one side of my face... so stuttering was actually the least of my problems when I went to school, but it was still quite a difficult thing, and the thing that I found most difficult about it was, knowing what to say but not really being able to express it in the right way.

"But I got heavily into music at a young age, and got very, very into rap music -Eminem was the first album that my dad bought me. I remember my uncle Jim told my dad that Eminem was the next Bob Dylan," Sheeran said.

"Say what you want, it’s pretty similar, but it’s all just story-telling. So my dad bought me the Marshall Mathers LP when I was nine years old, not knowing what was on it. And he let me listen to it, and I learned every word of it back to front by the age I was ten, and he raps very fast and very melodically, and very percussively, and it helped me get rid of the stutter."

Sheeran concluded: "Just be yourself, embrace your quirks—being weird is a wonderful thing. But I think, you know, I’m not very good at speeches, I don’t really do a lot of speeches but I think the one thing I want to say is be yourself, embrace yourself, embrace your quirks, and embrace your weirdness."