Last year, Ed Sheeran released a chart-topping album, x, that went on to become the most-streamed album in the world in 2014 and earned him three Grammy nominations and a Brit Award for Album of the Year. Even with those stunning accomplishments, though, the 24-year-old admits he’s still aiming higher — and he has two very influential role models who are helping him become the rockstar he wants to be.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the “Thinking Out Loud” crooner spoke about his buddy Taylor Swift’s domination in the music world, confessing hers is a level of success he aspires to reach one day.
“At the moment, Taylor [Swift] is a benchmark in America and a lot of other countries,” he said. “In America, I want to catch up with her.”
Doing so, however, is no easy feat — something Ed is well aware of. Even so, he admits there’s an aspect of healthy competition to their friendship because she pushes him to strive for greater success.
“I think it would take a lot more work because she’s obviously been going about 10 years more than me,” Ed said about the likelihood of him surpassing her in album sales. “If I passed her, I think she’d then get more competitive and do more stuff. I think it would only be healthy. Like her surpassing me in sales in the U.S., that’s healthy for me because I now want to get up to that point.”
In the same interview, Ed also spoke about another legendary female musician who’s inspired him (and almost every other musician today, TBH): Beyonce, whom he shared the stage with earlier this year at “Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star Tribute” to Stevie Wonder.
When asked about the biggest rockstar moment he’s ever experienced, Ed admitted, “Playing with Beyonce. That’s the only point I’ve felt like a rockstar. In my own shows, I’m still quite an awkward British dude with an acoustic guitar. But when you’re on stage with Steve Wonder’s band, Gary Clark Jr. and Beyonce and then they give you an electric guitar to play...that’s when you can feel a bit rock-y.”
One thing’s for sure: Ed’s star power is only on the rise, and we’re sure he’ll reach Tay+Bey status in no time.