Ed Sheeran ‘didn’t want to live any more’ after drug-related death of best friend

Singer said death of Jamal Edwards closely followed death of his Australian cricketer friend Shane Warne and discovering his pregnant wife had a tumour

Ed Sheeran, who said he had dabbled in drugs after the age of 24, said he would “never, ever, ever touch anything again” following his friend's death. Photograph: Hannah McKay/PA

Ed Sheeran has said he felt he “didn’t want to live any more” after the death of his best friend Jamal Edwards and discovering his pregnant wife had been diagnosed with a tumour.

Music entrepreneur Edwards, who founded the music platform SBTV in 2006 which helped promote Sheeran’s career, died in February 2022 at the age of 31.

His death came shortly after Sheeran’s wife of four years, Cherry Seaborn, was told by doctors while six months pregnant that she needed surgery for a tumour that could not take place until after she had given birth to the couple’s second child.

Sheeran (32) told Rolling Stone magazine that although Seaborn carried their daughter, Jupiter, to term and had successful surgery in June, he felt “so powerless” at the time.


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Meanwhile, the night before he learned of Edwards’ death, Sheeran said he was out for dinner with pop star Taylor Swift and her boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn, and was exchanging texts with Edwards about plans to shoot a video the next day.

The global pop star said: “Twelve hours later, he was dead. My best friend died. And he shouldn’t have done.”

He continued: “I felt like I didn’t want to live any more. And I have had that throughout my life.

“You’re under the waves drowning. You’re just sort of in this thing. And you can’t get out of it. I’ve always had real lows in my life. But it wasn’t really till last year that I actually addressed it.”

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Sheeran said that as a father he felt “really embarrassed” by his seemingly “selfish” thoughts, and said it was Seaborn who worked out what was going on and advised him to see a therapist.

He said: “no one really talks about their feelings where I come from. People think it’s weird getting a therapist in England.

“I think it’s very helpful to be able to speak with someone and just vent and not feel guilty about venting.”

Ed Sheeran and wife Cherry Seaborn in 2018. Photograph: Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Sheeran, who said he had dabbled in drugs after the age of 24, said he would “never, ever, ever touch anything again” after a coroner ruled that Edwards’ death was drug-related.

“That’s just disrespectful to his memory to even, like, go near,” he said.

During the same time period Sheeran won a high UK court battle after two songwriters claimed his 2017 hit Shape Of You infringed copyright of their song Oh Why, and also saw the death of another friend, Australian cricket star Shane Warne, in early March 2022.

Sheeran also said that food and drink has been a struggle for him and he gave up heavy drinking a few months before the birth of his first daughter, Lyra.

He said that he was “self-conscious any way” but that working with artists with “fantastic figures” such as Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes made this worse.

“So I found myself doing what Elton (John) talks about in his book, gorging, and then it would come up again,” he said.

Sheeran, whose upcoming album is titled – (the mathematical symbol for subtract) is set for release on May 5th, also said he has five more albums using another category of symbols, wanting the last in the series to be released “after I die”.

He said that he has a completed album with reggaeton superstar J Balvin with no release date in sight and has written a song for the new season of Ted Lasso.

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