Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran Will ‘Pretend To Be Rappers’ If They Win A VMA

'America breeds heavy hitters,' says Sheeran of fellow Best Males Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars.

We already knew that Ed Sheeran was planning to go “nuts” thanks to an early-morning tweet on Wednesday (July 17) about his Best Male Video (“Lego House”) nomination at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

The British singer/songwriter is a first-time nominee for the Sunday, August 25 show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where he’ll face off against six-time nominee Justin Timberlake (“Mirrors”), four timer Bruno Mars (“Locked out of Heaven”), three timer Robin Thicke (“Blurred Lines”) and fellow newcomer to the big show, Kendrick Lamar (“Swimming Pools”).

“It’s my very first [VMA] nomination, but I really haven’t been nominated for that much stuff in America yet,” Sheeran told MTV News. The singer has taken home a pair of Brit Awards and a prestigious Ivor Novello trophy in his native England, but the VMA is one of his first big honors on these shores. “So it’s nice to have this sort of recognition.”

The nod came for a “House” clip that mixes live performance and road footage with images of Sheeran strolling down a country lane, hanging in a room full of lamps, perfecting his bedhead hairdo and, yes, building various Lego sets. Oh, and in case you’re not really that familiar with what Sheeran looks like, (spoiler alert) most of the clip features “Harry Potter” actor Rupert Grint playing a demented Ed-alike stalker with seriously crazy eyes.

“It’s an idea I had from before we did the video and the opportunity came up and we did it,” he said of the chance to mess with the many people over the years who’ve mentioned the resemblance between the two. “It’s sort of me poking fun at myself.” Sheeran had high praise for how hard Grint nailed the part (“he’s definitely a good actor”) as well as for the very talented 17-year-old Legomaniac who put together a companion video in which all the action takes place in an alternate all-brick universe.

Sheeran, who called from a tour date in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said he got the news at 7 a.m. on Wednesday and promptly sent the “nuts” tweet to his fans before boarding a flight.

As for the competition, Sheeran knows he’s up against some major players but, yes, he’s happy just to be nominated. “America breeds heavy hitters, so I don’t think you can be nominated here in America without expecting that,” he said. “It’s such a big country and you don’t get [nominated] unless you have either marginal success or huge success and I have marginal success up against people with huge success.”

He’s got a month to think about it, but Sheeran also admitted that he didn’t even really know what the dress code for the VMAs is. “Do I wear a suit or a t-shirt?” he pondered. What he does know is exactly what he’ll do if he wins.

Right after the nominations were announced, he got a text from songwriting and touring partner Taylor Swift, congratulating him on his nod. He said he told the two-time nominee for “I Knew You Were Trouble” (Video of the Year, Best Female Video) that if they won he had the perfect celebration in mind. “I told her that if we both won we’d put on loads of bling and pretend to be rappers,” he said.

And, sure it’s a bit early to start shopping for two chains, but when asked where he’d stash his KAWS-created trophy if he did win, Sheeran said some renovations would definitely be in order. “I would love to get a Moonman!” he said. “I’d put it next to my other awards. I don’t have a cabinet right now, they’re just kind of all around my flat, one next to the TV, one in the bedroom. So, I’d have to build a cabinet.”


Often guilty, never convicted. Serving 15 years to life at MTV News.