Two things you probably didn’t know about Ed Sheeran: He had a stutter as a kid, and he cured it by rapping along to Eminem.
Sheeran developed the stutter after undergoing laser surgery to remove a birthmark from his face. “One day, they forgot to put the anesthetic on, and ever since then, I had a stutter,” he recalled back in 2015. He attended speech therapy to work on the affliction, but, as he told Howard Stern more recently, it was actually a gift from his uncle that helped the most.
“When I was nine, my uncle bought me The Marshall Mathers LP, and he just said to my dad, ‘This guy’s the next Bob Dylan, you gotta let him listen,’” he said. “My dad didn’t really clock it. He was just like, ‘Okay, Edward’s gonna go and listen to that.’ And by learning that record and rapping it back to back to back to back, it cured my stutter.”
Now that Sheeran is a huge pop star (who doesn’t have to quit music any time soon), he and Eminem have met, and he confirmed the rapper knows his story. Last year, Eminem even asked Sheeran to play “Stan” with him at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which Sheeran immediately accepted despite the performance falling on his one day off amid shooting an upcoming documentary.
“I was super nervous beforehand,” Sheeran said of meeting the rapper for the first time, noting that he’s pretty private. “I got invited to his studio in Detroit and I was sort of sitting there like, ‘Ooh, is he standoffish?’ And as soon as he walked in, we just started talking about Marvel comics and stuff like that. I was like, ‘Okay, we’re cool.’” Watch Sheeran recall the story below.
Sheeran was recently cleared of copyright infringement allegations in a lawsuit filed by Structured Asset Sales, an entity that owns part of the copyrights of “Let’s Get It On” co-writer Ed Townsend. A Manhattan jury declared Sheeran’s 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud” was “independently created” and did not steal elements from Marvin Gaye’s 1973 song. Sheeran had threatened to quit music if he was found guilty in the trial, but since he prevailed, he may now turn his attention to country music.