Why Ed Sheeran became a recluse
ED Sheeran has confirmed for the first time that he and long-time girlfriend Cherry Seaborn are married - and also talked candidly about his struggles with anxiety.
British media reported that Sheeran and Seaborn wed before Christmas in front of about 40 friends and family in Suffolk.
In an interview with broadcaster Charlamagne Tha God on Sheeran's own YouTube channel to promote his album No. 6 Collaborations Project, Sheeran talked about how he wrote the song Remember the Name, which refers to "my wife".
The 28-year-old British singer-songwriter said: "I knew that we'd be married by the point that the song came out."
Sheeran also opened up about his anxiety, saying that his fame prevents him from leading a normal life. Sheeran recently moved to the country to try and escape the public eye.
"She [Cherry] thinks it's not healthy to do this [stay in all the time]. I lost the availability to go to a supermarket and buy a loaf of bread about three years ago. People around here treat me pretty normally, but in London it's different.
"I wake up every day with Cherry and I'm like why the f*ck are you with me? You could be with whoever you wanted and you've chosen me.
"I'm saying all the things that I think are wrong with me and you still want to be with me and I find that amazing."
Sheeran spoke of the anxiety caused by being filmed when he'd try to eat his lunch in a restaurant, and of his desire to cut his friendship group to the "bare, bare, minimum."
"I don't mean to be complain-y, because I have a very cool life and job, but if I can avoid it [the scrutiny] I will," he said.
Admitting he felt anxious everyday, Sheeran said: "It creeps up on you. I've been working on it for eight years and I closed off from reality. Whether it's getting rid of your phone or only looking at emails twice a day. Or cutting down my friendship group to the bare minimum just so I can trust everyone. I let people in from a, 'Let's hang out place'. There is letting in and then there is letting in."
Sheeran - who has sold 150 million albums and saw the success of his last tour make an incredible $895 million - said his crippling condition was sparked by the pressures from his worldwide fame.
He admitted fame has left him feeling disconnected and revealed he avoids going out.
Sheeran opened up to explain: "I have social anxiety. I don't like large groups of people, which is ironic given I play shows to thousands of people. I feel claustrophobic and I don't like being around many people. I have no problem with talking to people. But it's when people film me and stare at me. It makes me feel weird.
"It makes me feel like I'm not human. If you want to come up to me and have a conversation with me. Even if we've never met, just come up. But what instantly cuts me off is that you're having a moment with them which is so genuine and so nice and then at the end they ask for a picture.
"It puts you down to earth and you're just 15 likes on Instagram. That's all you are. I was at a Marilyn Manson show and a man shook my hand and said he liked my music, and that was it. That was so nice. Like if I am eating in a restaurant now, I would prefer to have a private room because if I eat in the public room I have people filming me while I'm eating my food. You feel like a zoo animal. I don'
t mean to complain, I have a cool job and life. But I just want to avoid that."
Never before has Sheeran, a naturally private person, revealed such personal information. He said his torment was sparked by the surge in fame which came from the release of his 2017 single "Shape Of You" from his album Divide. Up until then he had managed to live his life away from the spotlight.
The record went platinum and Sheeran became a public figure overnight - meaning he was unable to go anywhere without being recognised. In that year, he was also awarded an MBE for his services to music
Speaking about the transformation, Sheeran said: "I used to live in New York and I went out every night but releasing Shape Of You took me to a new level of fame. I was meeting people every day from movies and music.
"I was getting sucked up into it. I felt myself getting drained. If I lived in central London and hung out with people, I wasn't sure if they were friends with me because of me, or who I am. That's why I moved here."
Here, for Sheeran, is the $3.58 million estate he bought in Suffolk where he can remain completely out of the public eye. His house sits in the middle of the sprawling site - with Sheeran having purchased all of the houses on the grounds.
He said of his decision to cut himself off: "All of these things are in place to protect my mind and it's working, I think."
Sheeran's new album, released on Friday, includes collaborations with Justin Bieber, Stormzy, Eminem, 50 Cent and Bruno Mars.
Sheeran and Seaborn, 26, met at primary school in eastern England and announced their engagement in 2018.