Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has sworn off drugs in pursuit of honoring his late best friend, producer and DJ Jamal Edwards.
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In his upcoming Disney+ docuseries, aptly titled The Sum of It All, Sheeran addresses the hardships he’s faced in his personal life, including the sudden death of his friend Jamal.
“I got married, and I’m a dad who has two daughters,” Sheeran says in the trailer. “We’ve reached a peak, and then it just went… Cherry’s health, it got really bad. And then suddenly my best friend Jamal died. The loss just took over my life”.
This isn’t the first time Sheeran has alluded to the intense struggles he faced over the past year writing his album. He described himself as, “spiraling through fear, depression and anxiety. I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air.” In order to overcome this, the four-time GRAMMY winner has turned his sobriety into an act of respect for his friend Jamal.
“I would never, ever, ever touch anything again, because that’s how Jamal died,” he maintained to Rolling Stone. “And that’s just disrespectful to his memory to even, like, go near.”
Yet, despite Sheeran’s hardships, the series promises a story of perseverance, addressing not only the barriers he faced in launching his career, but how the popstar works through struggles in relationships, stardom, and everyday life.
The Sum Of It All is set to be released on Disney+ on May 3, just two days before his sixth studio album, Subtract.