There’s no one in the world Ed Sheeran wants to be more than Taylor Swift. Every move the mercenary pop star has ever made has had the goal of inhabiting the same space as one of the biggest pop stars in the world. You don’t scheme up a goofy, bloggable story about something as small as a facial scar without a bit of a desire to see your name absolutely everywhere. So, when Sheeran got selected to the Time 100 — the magazine’s yearly ranking of the most influential people on Earth — there was only one person who could write his section up.
Taylor Swift explained how Sheeran relied on “an impenetrable and ever-present armor of enthusiasm” to persevere through setbacks and reach the point where he can claim somewhat equal footing with Swift.
“He’s like a fighter who pops back up on his feet before you even noticed he’d been knocked down,” she explained.
But that veneer of optimism cracked at least once. And Swift says she was there to talk the “Shape Of You” singer through it.
“A few years ago, in a rare moment of admitting feeling defeated, Ed said to me, ‘I’m never going to win a Grammy,'” she recalled. “Yes, you are, I said. You’re going to sweep the whole thing one of these years. It was a few weeks later when he met me in a dance-shoe store in London, where I was picking out rehearsal outfits, and said, ‘You have to hear this’ It was a song he’d just finished called ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ which went on to win Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 2016.”
Swift closed the piece with a congratulations for Sheeran and a nod to his ear for hooks.