Two things you probably didn’t know Ed Sheeran: He had a stutter as a child, and he fixed it by rapping Eminem.
Sheeran developed a stutter after undergoing laser surgery to remove a birthmark from his face. “One day, they forgot to put anesthesia, and since then, I stuttered,” he said recalls back in 2015. He attended speech therapy to work on the pain, but, as he told Howard Stern recently, it was actually a gift from his uncle that helped the most.
“When I was nine years old, my uncle bought me The Marshall Mathers LP, and he just said to my dad, ‘This guy is the next Bob Dylan, you’ve got to listen to him,’” he said. “My dad never clocked it. He said, ‘Okay, Edward will go and listen to that.’ And by learning that record and rapping it backwards, it cured my stuttering.”
Now that Sheeran is a huge pop star (who no need to stop the music anytime soon), he and Eminem met, and he confirmed that the rapper knew his story. Last year, Eminem even asked Sheeran to play “Stan” with him at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which Sheeran readily accepted despite falling through the cracks during his one-day vacation in between shooting the upcoming documentary.
“I was super nervous beforehand,” Sheeran said of the first time he met the rapper, noting that he was quite private. “I was invited to his studio in Detroit and I was sitting there like, ‘Ooh, is he standoffish?’ And when he came in, we just started talking about Marvel comics and stuff. I was like, ‘Okay, we’re cool.'” Watch Sheeran reminisce about the story below.
Sheeran 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 of Marvin Gaye’s 1973 song. Sheeran threatened to quit music if he was found guilty at trial, but since he won, he can now turn his attention to country music.