Ed Sheeran’s new Rolling Stone cover story ostensibly promotes his upcoming sixth album, Subtract, but he also took the opportunity to tease some other intriguing projects in the works, including plans for a posthumous album. (Yes, you read that right.)
Along with Subtract—which is the last in his series of mathematical albums—Sheeran revealed that he’s finished a collaborative album with reggaeton artist J Balvin (which seems primed for more debates about cultural appropriation) as well as an album with The National’s Aaron Dessner.
Maybe the most shocking project Sheeran revealed he’s working on, though, is a posthumous album. The 32-year-old singer spared details about the project, but said that it would be the result of years of work and would only come out after his death.
“I want to slowly make this album that is quote-unquote ‘perfect’ for the rest of my life, adding songs here and there,” he told the magazine. “And just have it in my will that after I die, it comes out.”
Along the same lines, Sheeran also opened up about some loved ones he’s recently lost, including his longtime friend Jamal Edwards, who died in February 2022 from a heart attack due to cocaine use, and cricket star Shane Warne, another friend who died of a heart attack the next month.
“I felt like I didn’t want to live anymore,” Sheeran said about his grief. “And I have had that throughout my life.… You’re under the waves drowning. You’re just sort of in this thing. And you can’t get out of it.”
Sheeran said he eventually sought out therapy thanks to his wife, Cherry Seaborn. He also credits Edwards’ death with helping him realize he needed to refrain from excessive drug and alcohol use.
“It’s just a realization of, ‘I’m getting into my thirties. Grow up! You’ve partied, you’ve had this experience. Be happy with that and just be done.’ I love red wine, and I love beer. I don’t know any old rockers that aren’t alcoholics or sober, and I didn’t want to be either.”
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