Loss of friend and fatherhood inspire Ed Sheeran's new album =

Ed Sheeran performing at his homecoming gigs at Ipswich's Chantry Park in 2019. Picture: Zakary Walt

Ed Sheeran's new album is out now - Credit: Zakary Walters

Ed Sheeran's new album '=' is out now with the singer saying the theme of the record is about fatherhood and the loss of a close friend. 

The Framlingham born singer has released his fourth solo album, his first as a father and married man, and follow up to his 2017 album Divide. 

Speaking about his new album Sheeran said: "There are so many things that have happened in my life and I feel, not in an evangelical way, but I feel very reborn in my 30s, my view of the world is different.

“I think having my mate die and realised that tomorrow isn’t promised and every day is actually a real joy to be around, because I spent a lot of time moping about things in my 20s and finding reasons to be upset.

“Now there’s just so much joy in my life and so this record sort of reflects that.”

The Ipswich Town shirt sponsor has dedicated the song Visiting Hours in memory of his friend and mentor Michael Gudinski who died earlier this year. 

The Shape of You singer, who is currently isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 will be going on tour next year with his new album. 

Sheeran added: "I’ve spent a lot of my 20s questioning: Who am I? Why am I here? Why do I do this? If I’m a singer what do I add to the world?

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“So it’s so much questioning, and I’ve turned 30 and I feel like some of these questions have started to have answers.

“But they started to have answers through two very massive moments of my life, which is one, my daughter being born which is new life, and one my friend Michael dying which is death.

“And both hit me in a way where you appreciate tomorrow more because of each one.

“An equals symbol is the end of a question and the start of an answer, it’s in the middle of the two of them, and I definitely feel like being 30 I’m on either side.”

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