Seriously, why does everyone hate Ed Sheeran? For the amount of love the English musician receives, he gets just as much disdain on the back end. Over the years he’s received his fair share of angry letters, scathing internet comments, and even a death threat or two. Does he really deserve all of the backlash?
First and foremost, we have to separate those that just don’t like his music from those who genuinely hate him for a myriad of other superficial reasons. If you don’t like his music, fair enough. Different strokes for different folks. But if you have to actively search for other reasons to bully him, to what end? Musical taste is a spectrum, one that’s unique to each person. If people can like Nickelback, then anything is possible.
Grunge-rock aside, Sheeran’s discography can be considered fairly run-of-the-mill. With chart-topping songs like Thinking Out Loud, Shape of You, and Photograph, the entertainer does very little to separate himself from the pop tropes that bog down many artists today. Still, there’s no denying the songs’ replayability. One New Zealand journalist even listened to every Ed Sheeran song ever produced to decide once and for all why Sheeran is such a divisive artist. That article can be found here.
The Grammy Award-winning music man creates catchy melodies and sing-along lyrics that captivate the world. Although formulaic, it’s a formula that admittedly dredges up emotions in many listeners every time⏤hook, line, and sinker. Thinking Out Loud is objectively a banger. Kiss Me, not so much.
He is known far and wide as the music industry’s resident “nice guy” and does little to sully that image. Sheeran is a happily married father of one and even moved back to his home town of Halifax to raise his daughter where he grew up. What frustrates people is that he really doesn’t act like he’s famous. He lives privately and modestly with his family, appearing every so often when a new song or album gets released from his multi-million dollar empire. Check out this great article proving once and for all how down-to-earth Sheeran really is.
If you need more proof, here he is talking about how his little girl “changed his life.”
Come on, that’s cute as hell. But therein lies the hate. Some people think that Sheeran is too nice. The age-old saying “nice guys finish last” really applies here. Sheeran is charitable, keeps to himself, and has the kind of everyman aesthetic that people love to pile on top of. It’s gotten to the point where haters even critique his face. Yes, his face, just because they can.
Take a look at this Pinterest board dedicated to hating on Sheeran’s looks. It’s kind of funny, but also shame on you for laughing. Frankly, Sheeran’s relatability is what endears him to so many fans. He’s not unachievably attractive or in ridiculous shape. He remains popular in spite of the fact that he goes against a lot of the conventions that perpetuate modern celebrity culture.
Plus he’s friends with Taylor Swift, which is incredibly wholesome. Some would say it’s too wholesome. Who cares? Fellowship between celebrities can often be disingenuous, so can you blame him for celebrating a true musical companion? Here’s a deep dive into Swift and Sheeran’s decade-long friendship.
During Sheeran’s famed Game of Thrones cameo in 2017, the star went so far as to briefly quit Twitter after all the backlash. Worst of all, his appearance on the show was totally inoffensive. If anything, the only criticism could be that his singing during its intro was too beautiful.
It’s the duality of his public persona that has caused such a rift amongst fans and haters. Sheeran is simultaneously mainstream and an outlier; relatable and a popstar. He’s as unassuming as your next-door neighbor but as notable as any star working today. He’s one of the world’s bestselling musical artists, and that’s no easy feat.
All told, Ed Sheeran has handled his criticisms fairly well, even if nothing seems off-limits for the global network of trolls that assail him. Despite your frustration, the red-haired virtuoso will continue to melt hearts long past your bedtime.