Ed Sheeran got his start in music as a street performer, busking in metro stations in the U.K. just waiting for someone to take notice. They obviously did, courtesy of YouTube and his own persistence, and now he's one of the biggest artists in the world with one of the biggest songs at the top of the charts. On Sunday night (August 27), he even walked away from the 2017 VMAs with the first-ever Artist of the Year award.
It's no surprise, then, that Sheeran's extremely grateful for the way his fan base has grown right alongside him with each tour, as he told MTV News correspondent Gaby Wilson at a Divide tour stop in Dallas earlier this month. "It's still got the kind of teenage demographic, but it's now, like, older couples and then people taking their younger kids," he said. "And it's date night, and some people propose at these gigs. It feels like a very wide demographic."
Sheeran said in the U.S. especially, his core fan base used to be primarily teenagers. And now that it's broadened to include folks of all ages — including a recent elderly couple near the front of the crowd with their ear-protecting headphones on — he's happy. "I love it. The reason I make music is to get it to as many people as possible, so, like, having all ages, shapes, and sizes, [at] a gig is great."
He also said he's happy about becoming the point of origin for younger fans' interest in playing music of their own. "I often meet kids at the meet and greet that are, like, six and have just started playing guitar because they like 'Castle on the Hill' or something," Sheeran said. "I feel like that's why we make music."
"I might not be the coolest musician in the world," he concluded, "but they enjoy it, and I enjoy it."