Ed Sheeran on his win in court, being a touring dad, and his new album 'Subtract'

The singer-songwriter tells all following a life-changing week
Audacy Check In with Ed Sheeran
Photo credit Audacy

It’s been a big week for Ed Sheeran who was not only found not-liable after the conclusion of a 2-week copyright infringement trial, but also released his new album, - (pronounced subtract), and is now kicking off his + - = ÷ x Tour (pronounced The Mathematics Tour) this weekend, Whew!

LISTEN NOW: Audacy Check In with Ed Sheeran

The 32-year old sat down with Audacy’s Karen Carson for a Check In surrounding all the ups, downs, highs and lows of the past couple weeks and to get us up to date on what he’s looking forward to most now that the trial is over.

The conclusion of his copyright trial — where he was being accused of ripping off the chords from Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” — brings a sigh of relief for the singer-songwriter who threatened he’d quit music altogether if he was found guilty.

“Sheeran’s are very stubborn,” he said, confirming he definitely would have quit creating if he lost — at least for a little bit. “Probably for a little bit, probably not forever but I probably would’ve been like, ‘I’m done for a bit.’”

Ed says he was tremendously touched by the support he received from fans, his lawyer and other stars throughout the weeks of his trial and shared he even received a call from Taylor Swift who is very familiar with the process after fighting legal battles for her music before.

“She literally hit me up yesterday, after it [the verdict]” Ed said sharing Swift was a big support for him throughout the process. “We [also] had like an hour, hour-and-a-half talk two days before I went into it… You never know how the outside world is going to see it… but I’m really glad people see it for what it was.”

He added, “We were walking out of court and I said [to my lawyer, Ilene Farkas], ‘You know, people are going to study this case in law school.’”

WATCH NOW: Audacy Check In with Ed Sheeran


Now that Sheeran’s case is history, he can focus on the exciting things in his life, like the new album, -, which released today (May 5).

“I forgot I was releasing an album,” Ed laughed, admitting the trial had completely consumed his thoughts. “I woke up this morning and I was like, ‘Oh yeah! My album came out today.’ It’s like — it’s been so all-encompassing — now that I’m on the other side of it, I’m like, ‘Oh, woah. OK.’”

The project showcases something new from Sheeran, a sound and vibe he says he’s never quite captured before, but is having a powerful effect on a wide range of people — including those who have disliked his prior releases.

“Even people that hate my music are like, ‘Wow, we actually quite like this,'” Sheeran shared of feedback he’s gotten. “It’s a weird shift for me.”

Topics explored via the album run parallel to those throughout his new, 4-part documentary, The Sum of it All, now available via Disney+.

“It didn’t turn out as I expected,” Ed admitted of the new documentary. “I walked into it thinking I was making a music documentary and I came out of it having made a documentary of like, grief and depression and family. It was weird, but I trusted the director.”

He continued, “The director basically said he didn’t want me involved, producing, executive producing, changing narrative. He just said, ‘Let me see what I see and make a documentary on that, and I promise you, you will be happy with the results.’ I just had to trust him.”

With the recent release of the documentary and album, one might think Ed can take a break to enjoy some down-time, but it’s actually the opposite. Sheeran is now gearing up to kick off his  + - = ÷ x Tour which starts May 6 — the day following the album release.

Sheeran says the tour is something he’s really looking forward to, not only because he’ll get to share the new music in a live setting with his fans, but he’s also bringing his family along for the ride.

“I kind of feel like my life is music and I can either be [an] absent father, or we can be all together, which is nice,” he shared confirming his wife, Cherry, and daughters Lyra (2) and Jupiter (1) will travel alongside him. “I’m sort of entering into this new stage of fatherhood where I’m like a superhero, which is like, the first time in my life where anyone’s ever been like ‘YEAHHHH’ I’m like, ‘hey, cool. Thanks!’"

Tour isn’t the only place fans can catch Sheeran — he’s also scheduled to be a guest judge on American Idol this week as he fills in for Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, who will be absent to play at the Coronation of Charles III and Camilla. 

“People find it very funny that Katy Perry and Lionel Richie are going to play [the coronation],” he said before clarifying he was never asked to perform. “I would like to say, I was never asked to do it…. [in the news] they said I turned it down. What it think is someone from the palace looked on my website — saw that I was playing in Dallas.”

Hear more from Ed Sheeran regarding all the topics above by checking out his full Check In interview with Audacy’s Karen Carson above and be sure to check out his new album, -.

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