The ginger-haired Ed Sheeran is one of the music industry's most exciting young phenoms and has become a smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic. The 21-year-old singer, songwriter and occasional beatboxer was born in Halifax, England, in 1991 and quickly took to the guitar from a young age. After becoming a guitar technician for the two-piece acoustic band Nizlopi, Sheeran began to learn the tools of the trade and his musical tastes began to become far more diverse. With musical influences from artists such as The Beatles, Van Morrison and being immersed in the indie music scene, Ed Sheeran has developed into one of the most compelling British acts to come across the pond in quite some time.
In 2005, Sheeran released his first EP, The Orange Room, and quickly followed his first release with two albums, a self-titled release in 2006 and Want Some? in 2007. While these albums weren't huge successes commercially, they helped to improve Sheeran's profile and increase the amount of gigs he would get on a regular basis. This lead to his epic year in 2009 - inspired by musician James Morrison, who once played 200 gigs in one year, Sheeran set a personal goal and played 312 gigs in a single year. This feat earned him serious street cred in the English music scene and lead to a series of bigger professional opportunities.
The biggest success of Sheeran's young career came with the release of his debut single, "The A Team," which was released in his critically-acclaimed Loose Change EP. However, after a series of independent projects, the single finally began to catch on in 2011 when the song appeared on Sheeran's debut album, +. "The A Team" would hit No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart, and the song "Lego House" would also prove to be a huge commercial success. + would go on to be certified quadruple platinum in the United Kingdom.
Sheeran has steadily begun to gain ground in the United States as well. "The A Team" peaked inside the Top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. His celebrity was further boosted during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London when he played a cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" at the closing ceremonies. It certainly seems that Sheeran has just hit his stride in his young music career and fans in countless markets are waiting to see what direction he'll head next.