Man Crush Monday: Ed Sheeran

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          He is Edward Christopher Sheeran, also known as Ed Sheeran. He is  is an English singer-songwriter. Born in Hebden Bridge, raised in Framlingham, Suffolk, he moved to London in 2008 to pursue a musical career. In early 2011, Sheeran released an independent extended play, No. 5 Collaborations Project, which caught the attention of both Elton John and Jamie Foxx. He then signed to Asylum Records. His debut album, +, containing the singles “The A Team” and “Lego House“, was certified quintuple platinum in the United Kingdom. In 2012, he won two Brit Awards for Best British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act. “The A Team” won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.

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           Sheeran began to become known abroad in 2012, in the United States he made a guest appearance on Taylor Swift‘s fourth studio album, Red, and wrote songs for One Direction. “The A Team” was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards and he performed the song in duet with Elton John during the ceremony. He spent much of 2013 touring North America as the opening act for Swift‘s The Red Tour. His second studio album titled x (read as “multiply“) was released worldwide on 23 June 2014, charting at number one in the UK and US. He was nominated for Best New Artist at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.

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          Sheeran was born in Hebden Bridge near Halifax, West Yorkshire but moved to Framlingham, Suffolk as a child. His father, John Sheeran, is an art curator and lecturer. His mother, Imogen Lock, is a culture publicist-turned-jewellery designer. His parents ran the independent art consultancy, Sheeran Lock, from 1990 to 2010. Sheeran, the younger of two boys, has an older brother, Matthew, who is a classical composer and postgraduate music student.

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           Sheeran‘s paternal grandparents were Irish and he was raised as a Roman Catholic. He sang in a local church choir from the age of four, learned guitar at a very young age, and began writing songs during his time at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham. His early childhood memories include listening to Van Morrison during his trips to London with his parents and going to an intimate Damien Rice gig in Ireland when he was eleven. In addition to Rice, he has also cited The Beatles, Bob DylanNizlopi and Eminem as his biggest musical influences. He is a patron of the Youth Music Theatre UK. He was accepted at the National Youth Theatre as a teenager.

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          In 2012, Sheeran purchased a farm near Framlingham, Suffolk, which is currently undergoing renovation. He has stated that he hopes to raise a family there.  Sheeran lived between Hendersonville, Tennessee and Los Angeles for the duration of 2013. Sheeran is the second cousin of broadcaster Gordon Burns.

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To know more about Ed Sheeran, just go here: http://www.edsheeran.com/splash/x-buy-us

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Flashback Friday: Amy Winehouse

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           She was Amy Jade Winehouse, aslo known as Amy Winehouse. She was an English singer-songwriter known for her deep contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul (sometimes labelled as blue-eyed soul), rhythm and blues, jazz and reggae. Winehouse‘s 2003 debut album, Frank, was a critical success in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Her 2006 follow-up album, Back to Black, led to five 2008 Grammy Awards, tying the record at that time for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made Winehouse the first British female to win five Grammys, including three of the general field “Big Four” awards: Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

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           Winehouse won three Ivor Novello Awards: in 2004, Best Contemporary Song for “Stronger Than Me“; in 2007, Best Contemporary Song again, this time for “Rehab“; and in 2008, Best Song Musically and Lyrically for “Love Is a Losing Game“. She won the 2007 Brit Award for Best British Female artist, having also been nominated for Best British Album, with Back to Black.

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           After years of abusing drugs, then alcohol, Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on 23 July 2011. Her album Back to Black posthumously became the UK’s best-selling album of the 21st century, at that point. In 2012, Winehouse was ranked 26th on VH1‘s 100 Greatest Women In Music. The BBC has called her “the pre-eminent vocal talent of her generation“.

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           Her father published a biography, entitled Amy: My Daughter, in 2012 and all proceeds are donated to the Amy Winehouse Foundation. In the book’s introduction, he explained: “Apart from being her father, I was also her friend, confidant and adviser—not that she always took my advice, but she always heard me out.”

          A report in April 2013 announced that Winehouse will be the subject of a documentary to be directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, Kapadia and Universal MusicKapadia and Gay-Rees introduced the project at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

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             An exhibit of Winehouse‘s personal items, entitled Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait, was on display at the London Jewish Museum until 15 September 2013. Display items, such as books and music, were featured together with captions that were written by Winehouse‘s brother.

           There was talk in late 2011 of Amy‘s former boyfriend, Reg Traviss, developing a film about the late singer, but Amy‘s father Mitch Winehouse, who owns the copyright to Amy‘s music, said he would keep the songs from being included.

To know more about Amy Winehouse, just go here: http://www.amywinehouse.com/