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What Ed Sheeran can teach us about standing out from the crowd

smEdward Christopher „Ed Sheeran at Southside Festival 2014 in Neuhausen ob Eck


As the festival season is properly underway, this feels like a great time to remember that the award-winning singer worked seriously hard for his musical status. He also had a tough time looking different at school, although he has turned it to his advantage in later life.


Positive or negative?

“Being ginger can seem like a bad thing when you are young”, Sheeran says, “but as a musician it has been my saving grace – because if you see a ginger kid on TV and there is only one messy-haired ginger kid who plays guitar, it is very easy to find them on YouTube.” The Grammy-winner may have had the last laugh but he had to dig deep emotionally to make it happen.

It’s often hard to see past a tricky situation and realise that one day you’ll be able to look back and see it as a moment that actually made you stronger. But it can. Just ask Ed or the other super-celebrities who turned the tables on their school bullies.

Other celebs who didn’t have an easy road to fame


“I was a real nerd. I wasn’t the popular one, I was one of those girls on the edge of the group. I never wore the right clothes and I had a kind of natural geekiness. I was in the school band and I think that has a bit of a stigma at the age of 13. If you’d asked me what I wanted to be, I would have said something like a librarian.” Jennifer Garner

“I wasn’t a heartthrob at school; I was a geek, I was into musical theatre, which isn’t perceived as the coolest thing. There were guys who were 6’ 1” with beards and big muscles and I was a gawky 17-year-old skinny, awkward kid. I was a late bloomer. Growing up was hell.” Zac Efron

“I was a nerd in those days. Outsider, like the kid that played the clarinet in the band and in orchestra, which I did.” Steven Speilberg

 “I got picked on all the time. I had terrible acne, weird hair. I grew up in Tennessee, and if you didn’t play football, you were a sissy. I got slurs all the time because I was in music and art.” Justin Timberlake