Ed Sheeran arrives at SiriusXM.
Ask Ed Sheeran how he’s doing, especially in the first half of the day, and you’re likely to get some variation on the same response. “Tired, man,” he says with a weary laugh as he rolls into SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s Manhattan HQ to kick off an extremely packed day of promos and performances all over the city. It’s hard to blame him. At just 24, armed with little more than an acoustic guitar, a closet full of flannel shirts and a head of hair so red it’s basically safety orange, the British singer-songwriter has come to rival his music-biz bestie, Taylor Swift, for global music domination. “It’s quite a weird thing for the No. 1 and No. 2 biggest-selling artists in the world to be close friends,” Sheeran says later, matter-of-factly. “I don’t think that happens a lot.”
This morning there are at least two specific reasons for his weariness. First, he hasn’t had coffee yet, so he waits in a greenroom while Kev, his affable, bear-sized sidekick/security guard, makes a Starbucks run. And second, even though he stayed in last night, Sheeran was up way later than he planned -- having what he jokingly describes as a solo “Netflix and chill” night -- watching the Amy Winehouse documentary in his pool-table-equipped hotel suite. He paired the experience with two bottles of his buddy Jay Z’s Armand de Brignac champagne, a case of which Beyoncé sent over after the pair dueted flirtatiously on “Drunk in Love” at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park three days earlier. (She signed the card “A gangster’s wife.”)