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