Ed Sheeran is in Frisco, Texas, for Thursday night’s 58th Academy of Country Music Awards, where he’ll perform two songs: one solo, “Life Goes On,” from his latest album – (Subtract), and another with a surprise country guest.
The real news, however, is that Sheeran is open to a future working in the country music genre. “I would love to transition into country,” the U.K. pop star told Billboard backstage at ACM Awards rehearsals. “I love the culture of it — I just love the songwriting. It’s just like brilliant songs.”
He says he and his wife regularly listen to country music at home (“All day, every day in the kitchen”) and credits Taylor Swift, whom he toured with in 2013, for introducing him to the format. “I’d never really listened to country music as a kid growing up,” Sheeran said.
Sheeran is no stranger to country music and Nashville in particular. He lived in the city for a spell and even wrote an unreleased song with Florida Georgia Line, as he shared with Rolling Stone in an April cover story (“My neck’s still red, the sky’s still blue, my truck’s still big, my girl’s still you,” went the lyrics. “We live where we live because we love living in Middle America”). More recently, Sheeran joined Luke Combs onstage at London’s O2 Arena to perform his own “Dive” at the 2022 C2C Festival.
He tells Billboard that he believes Combs could sell out even bigger venues in the U.K. “[He] could probably play a stadium in England. I think he put on Wembley next summer, he could sell it.”
Last week, a jury in New York found Sheeran not liable in a copyright lawsuit trial that accused him of copying “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye for his own song “Thinking Out Loud.”
From Rolling Stone US