Ed Sheeran Reveals Secret Struggle With Substance Abuse

Ed Sheeran on "Good Morning America," Monday, September 25, 2017. Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images

Ed Sheeran has revealed that he secretly battled substance abuse. The singer-songwriter, who opened up while taping an interview for Britain’s The Jonathan Ross Show airing on Saturday, October 21, explained how adjusting to fame led to his struggle.

“I think you need to, when you get into the industry, adjust to it — and I didn’t adjust because I was constantly working on tour,” he told Ross, according to the Daily Mail. “I didn’t really have any growing up time into getting famous. All the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them. Mostly, like, substance abuse.”

In December 2015, the “Thinking Out Loud” singer announced he was taking a year off from his career. He explained during his interview that his struggle was the reason he decided to step away from the limelight. He added, “I never touched anything. I started slipping into it, and that’s why I took a year off and buggered off.”

While the musician, 26, was away from the public eye and social media, he leaned on his work to stay afloat. “I just focused on other things,” he said. “I focused on work and I can’t work under the influence, I can’t write songs under the influence, I can’t perform under the influence so the more I worked the less [that happened].”

“I’ve worked my whole life to get to where I am and you can’t lose that over something that you do in your spare time. I didn’t really notice it was happening. It just started gradually happening and then some people took me to one side and were like, ‘Calm yourself down,’” he admitted. “It’s all fun to begin with, it all starts off as a party and then you’re doing it on your own and it’s not so that was a wake-up call and taking a year off.”

During his hiatus, the two-time Grammy winner reconnected with a high-school friend, Cherry Seaborn, and he credits their relationship as another reason why he was able to get back on track. “I’ve rekindled with a girl I went to high school with and we live together now and I think that was a real help grounding me,” Sheeran said. “I was a 25-year-old in the music industry on tour so I just needed someone to balance me out.”

The singer returned from his break to release his album Divide in March and is currently in the middle of his tour. The “Shape of You” singer was forced to postpone upcoming shows in Asia after he suffered a bicycle accident earlier this week. Sheeran broke both arms and a rib but said he still wanted to perform. His doctors warned him that if he continued playing the guitar, he might be putting his whole career at risk.

“I did try to be like ‘I will.’ I tried to say I’ll carry on doing the shows, but they said if I put any more stress on it, I might not be able to play again so it’s good to be sensible,” the singer said. “I do a one-man show so me not having my arms is half the show, so I’ve had to postpone a couple of shows, which sucks. It’s actually the first time I’ve ever canceled shows.”

Ed Sheeran will appear on The Jonathan Ross Show, on Saturday, October 21, on Britain’s ITV and full episodes can be found online at ITV.com.

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