Ed Sheeran Explains That ‘Blimey’ Grammy Nomination Face

The + singer said one word was going through his mind when his name was called for Best New Artist: 'Yikes.'

LOS ANGELES — When Ed Sheeran learned Friday night that he was up for Best New Artist at the 56th annual Grammy Awards, it wasn’t with a knowing smile or smug laugh. Rather, when the camera panned to the redheaded British singer/songwriter, he gave more of a shrug, as if he were telling the world, “Whoops.”

So when MTV News caught up with the + singer after “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!” we had to ask: What exactly was he thinking?

Well, in a word, “Yikes.”

You see, Sheeran was the last nominee to be announced, after James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kasey Musgraves’ names had all been called by host LL Cool J.

“Before I got announced, I was like, ‘Blimey, that looks like a tough category to be a part of,’ ” he explained to MTV News. “And then I got announced and I was like, ‘Oh, yikes.’ ”

And while he admits it’s going to be a bloody tough race, he also knows he’s in good company.

“I’m a fan of everyone who is nominated, I remember seeing Kacey Musgraves for the first time last year at the Grammys and just being blown away. And Kendrick’s album’s obviously great. I’ve done stuff with the Macklemore boys and they’re wicked. James Blake popped into the studio the other day and he was really nice.”

But don’t get too worried for Sheeran, because he’s done this all before. The singer was up for Song of the Year for “The A Team” at the 2013 Grammy Awards. When MTV News caught up with Sheeran earlier this month to collect the best advice for Grammy virgins, he said the first time didn’t entirely count, as the Song of the Year ended up going to Fun.

“I’m kind of like a Grammy virgin; it’s kind of like they put it in then pulled it out, because I was there, I just didn’t win,” Sheeran laughed. “I knew I wasn’t going to win, so I went to enjoy the experience, play the song with Elton [John] and hang out with people I admired; I went in to enjoy it.”

Will he finally lose it this time? We’ll see on January 26.