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Ed Sheeran breaks down in tears mid-performance over death of Jamal Edwards

Ed Sheeran breaks down in tears mid-performance over death of Jamal Edwards

Ed Sheeran left his audience – and himself – in tears during an emotional performance of his new album Subtract (‘-‘).

The 32-year-old Shape Of You singer was performing for Apple Music Live when he broke down in tears as he introduced his new song, Eyes Closed.

‘This next song was inspired by Jamal,’ began Sheeran, in what is a touching few minutes of the singer getting extremely candid about his best friend Jamal Edwards’ death last year.

February 2022 was a horrendous time for Ed, as in the space of one month Edwards died from cardiac arrest aged 31, and the Thinking Out Loud singer’s wife, Cherry Seaborn, was diagnosed with a tumour while six months pregnant with their second child.

Opening up about what it was like to write an album with the backdrop of tragedy, the singer explained ‘When I write music it belongs to me, and when I release it it belongs to you guys.’

The singer tried to explain the meaning behind his new song

But Ed found himself struggling to continue through his tears

He continued, welling up: ‘The first time I played this song ever, I cried. I cried when I introduced it, I cried when I sang it, I cried at the end, and I’m going to cry now.’

The intimate audience gave a supportive cheer for Ed, as he rubbed his eyes dry with his hands, and then a towel, before he warned: ‘This will happen a lot in this gig.’

Audience members also had tears in their eyes at the Perfect hitmaker’s clear distress over introducing a song written about his friend’s death.

Speaking with a shaky voice, he continued: ‘I found this song super cathartic to write and put out there.’

But Ed was forced to stop again, as he smiled and wiped his tears away once more.

Composing himself, Ed returned to the microphone defiantly, as he said: ‘It’s been heartbreaking reading everyone’s stories, but it’s something we all go through.’

‘Apple when you’re editing this, just make it smooth,’ he joked to the cameras, before continuing: ‘That’s the thing I realised when all these things happened last year, it’s just being an adult, s*** just happens. Everyone goes through it.’

The singer then launched into Eyes Closed, the third song on his new album.

Talking about his tough start to 2022, Ed previously revealed in his new Disney Plus documentary The Sum of It All how it was a ‘horrible month’.

Jamal Edwards and Ed were very close for many years

In the same month Edwards died, Ed’s wife Cherry Seaborn was diagnosed with cancer while six months pregnant

Chatting to the cameras with Cherry by his side, he said: ‘I don’t think I’ll ever get to February again and be like “this is a great month,” that was a horrible, horrible, horrible month.’

‘Life hasn’t moved on for me yet and I don’t think it will, I think it’s going to be a ….’ he added before turning to Cherry as his eyes watered.

‘The moment you find the worst thing has happened to someone you truly love, you feel like you’re drowning and can’t get out from under it,’ he continued.

‘Just from that situation, all these songs came out.

‘It’s scary putting your deepest, darkest thoughts out into the world, but I think I’m super ready to just put Subtract out and move on from it emotionally.’

Having been told her operation to remove the tumour would have to wait until the pregnancy was over, Cherry gave birth to baby daughter Jupiter in May last year.

The couple also share Lyra Antarctica, two, together.


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