It seems incredibly common for young artists to be stuck in a vicious cycle of creating new material, promoting it on every radio station, TV show or newspaper and then touring around the world.
Sure, some people might argue that’s their job, but while these stars live glamorous lives, they still need a break from it all.
Fans were devastated when Ed Sheeran announced he’d be taking some time off making music because it meant they wouldn’t get to hear any new songs for a while. The 26-year-old definitely used his time well, travelling the world with his girlfriend (which included nearly burning his foot off in Iceland) and even wound up on the Australian soap opera Home and Away.
He told MTV in 2015: “My plan is to get rid of my iPhone, get rid of internet, get a Nokia 3310 and just go off into the wilderness somewhere for a bit. Even if it’s just a month without contact with other people.”
Naturally, most thought it was just to enjoy a break after a gruelling few years which eventually catapulted him into one of the best and best-selling male artists of the decade. But virtually no one knew the real reason why he needed to take the time off.
He’s revealed on The Jonathan Ross Show that he fell into the ‘pitfalls’ that most young stars find themselves in, telling the host: “I just found myself slipping into all of them. Mostly, like, substance abuse.
“I’d never touched anything. I started slipping into it, and that’s why I took a year off and buggered off.
“It’s all fun to begin with, it all starts off as a party and then you’re doing it on your own and it’s not, so that was a wake-up call and taking a year off.”
He says someone eventually pulled him aside and told him to calm down and he took the advice. Sheeran credits both his work ethic and his girlfriend for helping him get out of the habit: “I focused on work, and I can’t work under the influence, I can’t write songs under the influence, I can’t perform under the influence – so the more I worked the less [that happened].
“We live together now, and I think that was a real help grounding me. I was a 25-year-old in the music industry on tour so I just needed someone to balance me out.”
Sure enough, the time off did wonders, as he came back after a year and dropped his latest album ÷, which became the fastest selling album by a male artist in the UK.
He’s had to take another hiatus from touring, but this time it wasn’t really his decision. While riding a bicycle in London, he was hit by a car and fractured his right wrist and left elbow. Doctors told him had to postpone his tour, as aggravating his injured limbs could result in him never being able to play the guitar again.
As a result, he’s had to delay several shows in Taipei, Osaka, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Sheeran says doctors will re-examine the wrist and elbow in four weeks and make a decision on his future.