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Ed Sheeran

“I thought I’d never make music again”

Ed Sheeran performing in Paris last Saturday for Global Citizen Live. Getty Images

Ed Sheeran is taking fatherhood seriously. He has lost weight since his first child, Lyra Antarctica, was born last year, and he turned up on The Graham Norton Show last week in a tuxedo, looking “slim and swell and obviously polished up”, as the host put it. He even designed and built his daughter’s cot, using cherry wood from his guitar company. “I didn’t want to do an Ikea cot.”

When his daughter was born, Sheeran stopped playing guitar, writing songs and singing, and devoted himself to being a dad. “I thought I’d never make music again,” he tells GQ. After four months, however, he felt miserable. He realised he wanted his wife, Cherry, and their daughter to see him “happy and thriving” while making music, even if that meant he wouldn’t always be home.

The family spent the pandemic at their Suffolk estate, with a four-bedroom treehouse and a private pub, the Lancaster Lock. “It’s a lot nicer to eat without someone taking pictures of you.” Sheeran found solace in painting abstract artworks after a gruelling two-year tour that ended in August 2019. He played 260 shows and racked up ticket sales worth £570m, making it the highest-grossing tour of all time. He’s now ready to get back on the road next year.