As if you needed another reason to want Ed Sheeran as a life partner, the singer was honored Monday in New York City for being open about conquering his stutter at the American Institute for Stuttering’s Freeing Voices Changing Lives Benefit Gala. And he gave a speech that will melt your heart.
“I was a very, very weird child,” Sheeran said in his speech, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I had a port-wine stain birthmark on my face that I got lasered off when I was very young; one day, they forgot to put the anesthetic on, and ever since then, I had a stutter.”
He continued, “The thing I found most difficult was knowing what to say but not really being able to express it the right way.” It was music that started Sheeran on the road to overcoming his stammer. THR notes that Sheeran’s dad bought him a copy of The Marshall Mathers LP, which helped him synthesize language. “I learned every word of it, back to front, by the time I was ten. He raps very fast and melodically and percussively, and it helped me get rid of the stutter.”
But he insisted in the speech that suttering doesn’t have to be a problem. In fact, he encouraged people to embrace the qualities that make them different.
“I wanted to not necessarily to shed light on stuttering or make it a thing, but stress to kids in general to just be yourself, because there’s no one in the world that can be a better you than you,” he said. “If you try to be the cool kid in class, you’ll end up very boring and doing plumbing for someone who apparently wasn’t that cool. Be yourself. Embrace your quirks. Being weird is a wonderful thing.… I have a f—ing football team now, that’s pretty cool!” Yaaaas.
He closed the night by performing his hit “Thinking Out Loud,” but not before saying, “From a stuttering point of view, don’t treat it as an issue. Work through it and get the treatment you want to get, but don’t ever see it as a plight on your life. Carry on pushing forward.”
Sheeran has a promising career in inspirational speaking, ya know, if this whole singing thing doesn’t work out.
[H/T: The Hollywood Reporter]