I was a very, very weird child: Ed Sheeran

How Eminem helped Ed Sheeran overcome a stutter, and a radio host kicked off his career.

An old video from 2015 has resurfaced online of Ed Sheeran making a speech after being honoured at the American Institute for Stuttering’s Freeing Voices Changing Lives Benefit Gala. 

Sheeran, who has been very open about his debilitating childhood stutter and the bullying he suffered, had no idea he was to receive an award. His background probably explains why he is one of the hardest working musicians in the industry and very media friendly.

He said: “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. And I lacked an ear drum on one side of my face—one side of my ear—so stuttering was actually the least of my problems when I went to school.”

Sheeran went on to explain that after his parents bought him an Eminem album, he marveled at how fast he rapped, and went on to learn every word of each track, which led to writing his own music, and eventually curing his stutter. 

In an interview on The Graham Norton Show, Jamie Foxx revealed how he helped launch Sheeran’s career by letting him sleep on his couch for weeks, before he was famous. 

Foxx was hosting a radio show at the time, and Sheeran had arrived in LA with no money, and nowhere to stay. 

Sheeran arrived at the station with the hope of getting Foxx to listen to his music, and the radio host liked it enough to let him stay at his home for a while. 

Foxx took the then unknown singer-songwriter to an open mic night he was hosting. ‘It was like 800 people, all black, just the best musicians,’ said Foxx. 

“So all of a sudden I say, ‘Ladies and gentleman, Ed Sheeran!’ He pops out, with red hair and a ukulele,” Foxx continued. “It was just like a movie. I said, ‘Well, let’s see what the kid has.’ And he went out there on that ukulele — got a standing ovation in 12 minutes. And the rest was history.”

Head here for the story of how a stutter, Eminem and Jamie Foxx gave us one our most popular musicians, or watch it below if logged in.  

Watch the speech below. 

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