Growing up with ginger hair, glasses and a stutter in a quiet town, Ed Sheeran was, on the face of it, an unlikely candidate to be a pop superstar.
He didn’t have such a good time with the local bullies, either.
But now the award-winning singer and songwriter says the name-calling he suffered was the making of him.
Sheeran, 22, said: ‘ I think everyone goes through a bit of bullying at school. Of course you get picked on for certain things, but I think it ends up being a positive.
‘I was quite a weird kid when I was little, I wore big glasses, had hearing problems, had a stutter and I had ginger hair, but I am now a successful musician and I have nothing to complain about.
‘So I have come out the other end and blossomed.’
He added: ‘Being ginger can seem like a bad thing when you are young but as a musician it has been my saving grace – because if you see a ginger kid on TV and there is only one messy-haired ginger kid who plays guitar, it is very easy to find them on YouTube.’
Sheeran suggested life had turned the tables on his past attackers.
He said: ‘When I went home and went to the pub and saw the people who used to be d**** at school, it’s kind of depressing.
‘They not only haven’t done anything, but they don’t know that there is anything out there.
‘They are so stuck in their little world. So I feel sad for them – they are kind of being bullied by life.’
Raised in Framlingham, Suffolk, Sheeran’s father was an art curator and his mother, Imogen, a culture publicist and jewellery designer.
His older brother Matthew also followed a musical path and is a classical composer.
Last year saw Sheeran start to crack the difficult US market with an appearance on Taylor Swift’s massive album Red. He also wrote songs for boyband One Direction.
His hit song A Team, which won an Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically, was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards and he dueted with Elton John at the ceremony.
He will spend much of this year touring North America as opening act for Swift’s Red Tour.
Sheeran, who was being interviewed on New Zealand TV, also spoke about his friendship with Taylor Swift and insisted it was platonic – contrary to rumours.
He said: ‘I can be friends with people as well. I have never said anything different other than we are just friends.’
Photo and story credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk