Big-name collaborations in pop music are practically a requirement in order to keep things interesting for celebs and fans alike in-between album cycles. Thankfully, Ed Sheeran is a popular dude, and he seems to collect famous friends almost as fast as he does fans! In honor of X's impending release, we look at some of Sheeran's partners-in-crime both on and off the stage. (We're glad we did, too, because some of these photos of him and his celebrity Sheerios are incredible.)
Sheerios TOTALLY FREAKED OUT AND SCREAMED LOUDER THAN A SMALL ARMY OF TRIPPING SPIDER MONKEYS when Demi Lovato joined Sheeran on stage for an impromptu performance of "Give Me Love" a couple of weeks back. Despite the fact that Demi had covered the heartfelt track and "Give Me Love" leaked ages ago, the pair had never gotten together for a jam sesh until right before they took to the stage in L.A.
It looks like X won't be the only major release on Sheeran's docket in the not-so-distant future: he's hard at work on a double-album collaboration with Game!
“Ed came up with the idea to start working on a joint album, and we started doing it,” Game previously gushed. “We was just going. He was on that guitar. Acoustically, he’s a genius, man, so when he does that, what comes out of me is songs like ‘Dreams’ and ‘Hate It or Love It’ and ‘My Life.’ The songs that we got, they’re real songs. And I can’t wait for people to hear ‘em.”
In addition to a Muppet twin that pukes confetti, Pharrell's got a cameo in Sheeran's "Sing" video (he produced the hit from X as well). Sheeran's impression of Pharrell is pretty spot-on, too. Turns out, if Pharrell hadn't pushed for "Sing" to get made, X could've been without its mightiest single: "If Pharrell hadn't have made me do it, it wouldn't have been done!" Ed said.
Swifty and Sheery: this may be the most perfect famous best friendship of all. Taylor Swift crashed his SNL peformance back in April; he opened for her on the Red Tour and brought plenty of goofy hats and hugs for days, as demonstrated above. They've covered a song or two together at each other's respective gigs. He accidentally almost-stabbed her with a sword straight out of Lord of the Rings that one time, but she seems to have gotten over it!
Sheeran may have helped the One Direction lads out with some songwriting—his credits include "Moments," "Little Things" and "Over Again"—but they're pals as well. Harry Styles and Sheeran are close to the point where they accompany each other to the tattoo parlor and have matching ink! Watch him casually saunter out in the middle of a 1D performance of "Little Things" below (but definitely take your earbuds out first, unless you want to go deaf listening to screeching tweens).
Rumors of a collaboration (or another headline-worthy romance) between Sheeran and Selena Gomez started flying when he was spotted leaving her house with a guitar in hand, but it turns out the Disney-gone-pop star is just another one of Ed's biggest fans. Gomez was spinning "Sing" long before X's official drop date and couldn't help but gush about the single.
Insert Friends pun here! Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Sheeran apparently split a turkey over Thanksgiving, with Sheeran passing out shortly after dinner. We'll blame the tryptophan on that one. Or the booze. Whatever. "[Aniston] has this crazy house with a big staircase that goes down to the pool," Sheeran told Us Weekly. "I had drunk a bit too much and needed a time out, so I went down and laid on one of the beds outside by the pool and passed out there." (Guess that makes Sheeran more of a Joey than a Chandler.)
Ron Weasley and Ed Sheeran have a lot in common: they're both dorky dreamboats, they're both famous for revealing their moodier sides in song and on screen, and they're both ravishing gingers. Sheeran opted to play upon their similarities for the "Lego House" video, which has the Harry Potter star walking in Sheeran's footsteps as he scrawls down heartfelt lyrics and plays with plastic blocks.
Yup, that'd be the socialite, former reality TV star, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills niece and aspiring DJ hanging out at the Grammys while Sheeran freestyles along to the beat of Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" below. That's cool, but we would pay actual dollars to watch Sheeran attempt "Stars Are Blind" at karaoke.
So let's get this straight: Elton John is a big fan of Ed Sheeran's and joined him on stage at the Grammys to perform "The A Team," but he's not Sheeran's manager. (Sir Elton's a little busy being a pop icon, naturally.) "I have to explain that he [Sir Elton] owns a management company that manages a lot of acts," Sheeran told the BBC. "My manager is one of many who works for it and from time-to-time Elton shows a bit of interest and helps out." Definitely good company to keep!
Elton's not the only one who's a fan of "The A Team." Bruno Mars brought Sheeran out last year in concert so that the two could bring an arena to its knees over an inimitable duet on one of his biggest hits. It's great to see that they're buds, especially considering how Bruno beat Sheeran out for a Moonman at the 2013 VMAs.
Hilary Duff and Sheeran have been hard at work on Duff's forthcoming album, her first in seven years. "I’m cutting an Ed Sheeran song next week, which I’m really excited about," Duff relayed to MTV News earlier this spring.
Sheeran is also a big fan of Duff's—not necessarily Lizzie McGuire's—before they hit the studio together. "'Come Clean' is a great tune," he recently told Digital Spy. "I think it'll be cool. She's been gone for so long living family life that I think there are a lot of fans waiting for something new. I feel like her record is not what they will expect. Obviously she comes from Lizzie McGuire and that pop world, but she's more grown up now, so it's more of an adult alternative acoustic sound."