A mysterious orange haired fellow was seen doing a duet with Elton John. Getting the chance to perform one of your own songs on The Grammys with Elton John, might be a sign some talent is present. The voice heard is not one that is expected, and the range of musical style is a purely unheard of blend of hip hop, folk, and a twist on common singer/songwriter attributes. Ed Sheeran was born Feburary 17 th , 1991 in Halifax, England. He always had a passion for music, that passion originating from his days in the church choir at age four. Ed first went to a concert when he was 11, when he traveled to Ireland with his father to see his favorite, Damien Rice – an Irish acoustic folk artist who can be attributed as one as Ed’s earliest and most prominent influences. Ed Sheeran started learning shortly after starting singing in the choir, around age six. That progressed into a passion that he found – after years of developing the talent – that with the support of his parents, dropped out of high school to pursue a musical career in London, in 2008. Before going to London, as a 17 year old he released independent EP’s titled The Orange Room EP, and Want Some? These got him the local recognition to get to London with a few contacts, and some material to show. Once in London, he hit the clubs and bars, and in 2009 he played 312 gigs. This got him even more recognition, and chances to tour with many British musicians, unknown to us – but very popular in England. This gave him the boost he needed – enough of a boost to release the Loose Change EP, which featured the single “The A Team”. After this, in April of 2010, he had the finances to get a one way ticket to LA. He got there, and had no contacts, no one to stay with – only motels. He went day by day playing every open mic the city had, until finally his talents were recognized by Jamie Foxx, who happened to see him at one of these performances. Foxx offered Ed the use of his personal recording studio – anytime. So, after some early success on the West coast, Ed continued to rise. He got more and more attention from people through YouTube, mention in well-known blogs, papers, and magazines. In 2010, Sheeran released Ed Sheeran: Live at The Bedford, followed by Songs I Wrote With Amy. On January 8 th , 2011, Ed released his final EP No. 5 Collaborations Project – which reached 2 nd on iTunes charts – independently, without a label. Now Ed had a substantial fan base. And shortly after the EP’s release, he was in Camden, London at the Barfly, a club holding roughly 400 people, where he held a free show. Well over 1,000 fans showed up, and in actions perfectly portraying what kind of person he is – he played 4 separate times so that everyone got to see the show, including a final show out on the street in front of the venue. Just weeks later, Ed Sheeran was signed with Asylum / Atlantic Records. Single after single, Ed topped the charts. Ed has had innumerable success in the past couple of years. He has performed for Queen Elizabeth II, and performed The A Team at the closing ceremonies of the London Summer Olympics last summer. Ed today just finished an Arena tour with Taylor Swift, and headlines his own that sell out months in advance. He won a Brit award (Britain’s Grammys), very recently nominated for a Grammy for song of the year for The A Team , where he performed it on the world stage with Elton John. The funny thing is, in Ed’s travels in 2010, outside London he visited a homeless camp for a few days where he met a woman named Angel, upon whom the song is written about – a drug addicted prostitute. This is a very uncommon topic for a song that gets the sales that it does. Ed toured with Snow Patrol in winter of 2012, where he made his first stop to Cincinnati – before many of us had even heard of him. This was right before his debut album “+” was released into the United States. The record has since gone five times platinum. Many people now know of him, many for that song. But in the last few months, I have had the chance to see him three different times. In September, Ed was in Columbus, and on a Tuesday night, I made the trip only to make it home in time for three hours of sleep before school. He came to Cincinnati again in December for Q102’s Jeff and Jen Christmas show, where he planned to play an abbreviated set, but after hearing that some fans ( fans may be an understatement) camped outside the venue for first row seats since 5 a.m. So, he played his full set, rushing to leave. Seton students Olivia Wall, Lindsey Ackerman, and Taylor Hirth had a choir performance at Seton that night, so they couldn’t make the show. But, the came down and listened to the end of it through the back door. Also, Ed always has been known to be a very friendly and down-to-earth guy, as he comes out the back after shows to meet fans. So, the girls were first in line to what they thought would be a chance to meet Ed. But, suddenly after his final song and thank you, The girls heard the back door pop open, and who runs out? Ed Sheeran. “I couldn’t even say words,” said Lindsey Ackerman. The girls were “mystified by his red locks.” – as they put it. He quickly stopped and only had time for quick hugs, not even pictures. He made his way into a silver BMW, that quickly sped off. After that show, he came back just about a month later, on January 25 th . This time fans got even crazier. Snow was on the ground that day, and the days leading up to the show. A group of teens slept through a 22 degree night in tents outside Bogart’s for the first row spot. I got to see him that night for the third time, and was three people back. His show is indescribable. The fact that it is him there is enough. Someone right next to me caught his pick, and someone in front of me his water bottle. Ed’s voice, songwriting, and style make him one of the most incredible musicians I’ve ever lived to know. His next album is due sometime before the end of 2013, and I can’t wait to hear what’s next.