Ed Sheeran opened up in an interview and revealed for the first time that he has also struggled with substance abuse. During an episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, the “Shape of You” singer, revealed how sudden fame affected his life in a damaging way.
“I think you need to, when you get into the industry, adjust to [fame], and I didn’t adjust because I was constantly working on tour. And all the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them. Mostly, like, substance abuse,” said the British singer-songwriter. “I never touched anything. I started slipping into it, and that’s why I took a year off and buggered off.”
Before the release of his third album, back in March, the singer went on a year-long hiatus to focus on himself. During that time, Sheeran got rid of his cell phone and went on a social media blackout. “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],” Sheeran said. “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,” he added. “It just started gradually happening, and then some people took me to one side and were like, ‘Calm yourself down.’ 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 [I took] a year off.”
Sheeran gives credit to his girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn, with helping him with his secret battles. “We live together now, and I think that was a real help grounding me,” the musician explained. “I was a 25-year-old in the music industry on tour, so I just needed someone to balance me out.”