Ed Sheeran on his critics: “I’m the punchline to what bad pop music is”

Sheeran is set to release a docu-series about his career and personal life on Disney+ in May.

Ed Sheeran

Image: Jeff Kravitz / Getty

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Pop artist Ed Sheeran has addressed the continuous criticism he has faced during his music career, and explained how despite his success, he still feels a need to prove himself.

Sheeran has had huge success with his music career, his track Shape Of You made history by becoming Spotify’s most streamed song ever back in 2021. Yet throughout his years under the spotlight (with a Martin LX1 often in his hands), the artist believes that for many years he was seen as a joke.

“I spent so long with people laughing about me making music,” he said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Everyone saw me as a joke, and no one thought I could do it. And I think that’s still the drive.

“There’s still this need to prove myself. And I’m still kind of not taken seriously. If you were to speak to any sort of muso, ‘Oh, I love my left-of-centre music,’ I’m the punchline to what bad pop music is,” he said.

“I mean, mate, when I wrote Perfect and Thinking Out Loud, I remember being like, ‘Oh, these are a bit cheesy, but at the time being like, ‘I don’t know if I care.’ And they became the biggest ballads in the world that year. And you’re like, ‘Well, people must connect with cheese, then!’”

A four-part docu-series about Sheeran’s music career, and the turbulent times he’s faced away from the stage in recent years, is set to be released on Disney+ this May. The series will arrive just two days prior to his new record – (Subtract), which is a central theme throughout the series. The album is set to be the final record in his collection of albums titled by mathematical symbols.

You can watch the trailer below:

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