In the singer’s new Disney+ docuseries titled Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All, set for release on Wednesday, he opens up about what it was like to learn that his pregnant wife was diagnosed with cancer in February 2022.
In the first episode titled “Love,” Sheeran and Seaborn — who largely shies away from the spotlight — share a heart-to-heart as she explains why she decided to be a part of the documentary.
“I got diagnosed with cancer at the start of the year which was a massive s—ter,” she says. “It made me massively reflect on our mortality. I would never agree to do anything like this but it made me think, ‘Oh if I died, what’s people’s perception of me? What do you leave behind?'”
Seaborn adds, “For Ed, the whole point is he wants to say to people, ‘I’m not just this music machine. I’m not just this robot that tries to get No. 1. I’m a father, I’m a son, I’m a friend.’ It wasn’t until this year when I was like, ‘I might die.'”
In a much more serious tone, Sheeran, 32, says that she’s playing it down and begins to get teary-eyed as he explains, “It was horrible.” He later says that he wrote seven songs in four hours to cope with the pain he felt.
“When something really intense happens to him, he writes a song,” says Seaborn.
Elsewhere in the episode, the “Shape of You” singer opens up about how much Seaborn, 30, means to him.
“It’s the most amazing thing in my life that nobody really knows about,” he says. “Everything in my life got so much better when she got into it.”
The docuseries, where Sheeran sheds light on his private life and struggles, will premiere Wednesday on Disney+.
The singer-songwriter will also release his latest album pronounced Subtract (but displayed as “-“) on Friday.
On March 1, the musician announced via press release that he poured his “deepest, darkest thoughts” into his new album.
“I had been working on Subtract for a decade, trying to sculpt the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear vision of what I thought it should be,” he shared. “Then at the start of 2022, a series of events changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art,” he said.
“Writing songs is my therapy. It helps me make sense of my feelings. I wrote without thought of what the songs would be, I just wrote whatever tumbled out. And in just over a week, I replaced a decade’s worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts.”
“Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumour, with no route to treatment until after the birth,” he continued of Seaborn, with whom he welcomed a second daughter in May of last year.
He added that this inspired him to put out an album that accurately represented what he was experiencing.
“It’s opening the trapdoor into my soul. For the first time I’m not trying to craft an album people will like, I’m merely putting something out that’s honest and true to where I am in my adult life,” said Sheeran.
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Ed Sheeran’s wife Cherry Seaborn has revealed the remarkable way the artist responded to news of her ill health.
Seaborn, 30, was diagnosed with a tumour in 2022, during her pregnancy with her and Sheeran’s second child.
The tumour was inoperable until after she’d given birth; the couple welcomed the child in May 2022.
A forthcoming Disney Plus documentary series titled The Sum of it All sheds some light on Sheeran’s life, his rise to fame as well as his personal struggles.
“Long story short, I got diagnosed with cancer at the start of the year, which was a massive s***ter, but it made me massively reflect on our mortality,” Seaborn says in the series.
Part of this diagnosis formed part of her decision to document their lives for fan consumption. She explained: “I was saying to Eds, I’d never have agreed to do anything like this before – never, ever, ever – but it made me think this whole year, if I died, what’s people’s perception of me?
“What am I going to leave behind? It genuinely wasn’t until this year when I was just like, ‘I might die’.”
According to Seaborn, Sheeran, 33, reacted to news of her tumour by channelling his feelings into his music.
“We had the diagnosis of the tumour and the next day, Eds went down into the basement and wrote seven songs in four hours,” said Seaborn.
“Some people write a diary and get their emotions out through the pen and, for Eds, if something really intense happens, he’ll go and write a song.”
In March, the trailer for the series hinted at the dark times that Sheeran and his family have faced in recent years. A notable moment saw the “Shape of You” vocalist break down in tears over the death of his close friend Jamal Edwards.
The Sum Of It All will be released on Disney Plus on Wednesday 3 May.