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The shape of Ed Sheeran: Astonishing rise of superstar singer



It was a dream come true for 17-year-old Ed Sheeran .

He had finally persuaded the boys from Nizlopi, his favourite band, to let him open for them when they played the Norwich Arts Centre.

He had been nagging his heroes to give him a chance to perform on the same bill ever since they had given him some work experience as a guitar technician the previous summer.

He had also sent the group a copy of a song he had written about them called ‘ Two Blokes and a Double Bass ’.

For the Norwich gig in April 2008, lead singer Luke Concannon stood next to Ed’s father, John Sheeran, to watch the performance.

He recalls, ‘He was looping, he had strong songs and his voice was good. It did seem he already had a package. I turned to his dad and said “Wow. He’s good!”’

Luke Concannon and John Parker known as Nizlopi
Luke Concannon and John Parker known as Nizlopi

Using a loop station to build layers of sound had become a staple of Ed’s live shows since he had been shown the craft at his fifteenth birthday party by the Irish singer-songwriter, Gary Dunne.

Looping is the skill that enables him today to fill stadiums with sound, standing alone on stage.

After Nizlopi had finished their set that included their poignant number one hit ‘JCB Song’ , they all went back to the Sheeran home in Framlingham and enjoyed the family’s wonderful hospitality that included one of his mum Imogen’s full English breakfasts complete with Ed’s favourite sausages.

He was elated at how well the show had gone and chuffed that more than one hundred people from Framlingham had made the thirty-six mile journey to Norwich just to support him.

Ed would never be slow in giving Nizlopi the credit they deserved for helping to shape his career: “Without realising it, I learned how to perform live and sing, project my voice and write songs just by being around them.”

Ed with mum Imogen, brother Matthew and dad John in Framlington’s The Station Pub

After the elation of the concert, Ed had no desire to go back to school for another year of A Levels.

He struggled to maintain any interest in studying Bach and Beethoven when he was making such good progress with his own ambitions.

He was never much bothered with the theory of music.

His guitar teacher, Keith Krykant , would roll up to Ed’s home each week with a careful plan for the lesson but after five minutes that would be abandoned when Edward, as he called him, would declare, ‘Oh Keith, do you want to hear a song that I wrote last night at 1 o’clock in the morning?’

And so they would spend the rest of the session working on the new song. Ed always favoured strong melodies – in his own song-writing and in the music he enjoyed playing.

He once spent an entire lesson learning how to play the famous Simon and Garfunkel hit ‘Sound of Silence.’ Ed possessed an ability to work out how to play a song just by listening to it a few times.

Jonathan Ball, talent scout credited with discovering Ed Sheeran

His own song-writing was improving and he was particularly proud of a song called ‘We Are’ which he wrote as a tribute to a school friend who had tragically died in a coach crash in Germany.

He had moved on from recording in his bedroom to using local studios to make his early high school albums, including one called The Orange Room, named after the colour of his bedroom.

He made his first video using an agency based in the nearby town of Woodbridge. Looking very clean cut with neatly brushed hair, he performed his song, ‘Open Your Ears’ against a spinning backdrop.

Supported by his parents, who always took his ambitions very seriously, he began to play more gigs locally in Framlingham as well as travelling to Norwich, Ipswich and Cambridge.

Sean’s book on Ed is out now

Often, his girlfriend, Alice Hibbert, one of the prettiest girls in school, would come along too.

Thanks to their experience representing artists, Ed’s mum and dad were able to encourage him to have proper merchandising, producing very professionally produced CDs to sell at his gigs and to friends around Framlingham.

They also appreciated the importance of social media and through MySpace , Ed’s songs reached the ears of a young talent scout in London, Jono Ball.

He loved a song called ‘You Break Me’ and persuaded his management company to take Ed on informally to see what developed.

Ed was impatient to move to London but even after his success with Nizlopi, his mother Imogen was worried.

While his father backed him, she wanted him to secure some qualifications so that he would have something to fall back on if his musical ambitions were unfulfilled.

A compromise was reached when Ed obtained a place at the Access to Music College in East London .

Nizlopi are one of Ed’s favourite bands and he has performed with them

He could go to classes two days a week and spend the rest of his time gigging around the capital’s thriving pub circuit. Jono promised to place him with song writers to work on new material.

He also entered his first big competition. He was desperate to be named ‘The Next Big Thing’ in Norwich and made it through the heats and the semi final in a local pub before taking to the stage at UEA (University of East Anglia). It was so nearly a disaster.

Watched by 500 people, Ed drew the short straw. He was first on. During his second song, two of his guitar strings broke. He battled on.

Even worse, another two broke in the middle of his third and final number. He literally had to think on his feet as he set about reharmonising.

Inside he was panicking but the audience never knew. Ian Johnson, of Access to Music, recalls, ‘Everything broke but he did it.

And of course he won. All the judges thought he was worthy of winning. They could see the potential.’

Ed won prizes totalling nearly £1,000 as well as the chance to support R&B star Jay Sean when he performed at UEA two weeks later in November 2008.

Back in London, Ed settled into a routine of college, song writing during the day and gigging at night.

Where to sleep became a preoccupation when he decided to stop paying rent in London and hop between generous friends, songwriters or people he hardly knew, just to find a place for the night.

He discovered he could sleep anywhere which was invaluable after he took a few trips around the Circle Line after a heavy night.

Jay Sean
Jay Sean was one artist Ed supported as he made his way

He was never homeless, although he did spend two nights next to a heating duct with a view of Buckingham Palace.

He was inspired to write a song for Alice entitled ‘Homeless’: ‘It’s not a homeless life for me; I’m just home less than I’d like to be.’

He made it a rule never to drink before a gig following a poor performance at the Ivy House in Holborn one night.

Afterwards a member of the audience came up to him and told him how bad it was. Ed was mortified and vowed never to let it happen again.

He never turned down a chance to perform. In 2009 alone, he managed an estimated 312 gigs.

Often these would be evenings where he played just a couple of songs before moving on to the next.

But despite his growing reputation in London, Ed was increasingly unhappy at his lack of progress and no nearer to signing with a major label.

Jono was equally exasperated that nobody seemed to recognise Ed’s potential: ‘The feedback I was getting was that Ed was a ginger haired white kid who wanted to be a rapper – and who’s going to sign that.’

Ed’s frustration boiled over after he played his heart out at a gig at the Ginglik club in West London, only to discover that no senior management or record executives had turned up.

Afterwards they sat smoking a cigarette on Shepherds Bush Green and Ed let Jono know in no uncertain terms just how upset he was.

It was particularly shocking because Ed was normally so easygoing.

Ed Sheeran and mum Imogen

Reluctantly Ed enrolled in a music academy in Guildford to continue an education he didn’t really need.

On his first day, he was told off for bringing the wrong guitar along for his opening lectures.

Fortunately help was at hand and he was offered an opening slot on Just Jack’s upcoming UK tour.

It would mean losing his place at college and he had already signed the lease on a student flat, but Ed didn’t hesitate.

Jack had heard about Ed on the London circuit and, significantly, had rung his manager Stuart Camp, who worked for Elton John’s company, Rocket, and told him, ‘I’ve found this kid from Suffolk, he’s only got his guitar and a crap pedal and he says he’ll do it for free.’

Ed was booked.

Ed supported British singer Just Jack on his tour

The highlight of the short tour was playing the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in November 2009.

The first time he’d seen Nizlopi four years earlier, he had turned to his dad and told him he was going to perform there one day, and now he had.

Ed, still just eighteen, was so excited that after his set he ran down the front row high-fiving everyone.

Ed Sheeran by Sean Smith is published by HarperCollins, £16.99

Tomorrow: Ed Sheeran on top of the world. Part one is available here .

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Nicki To Sue Daily Mail TV – This Is What They Said About Her



Nicki plans on suing Daily Mail TV for alleging she supports sex offender brother

Nicki Minaj is threatening to sue Daily Mail TV host Jesse Palmer, over some outrageous claims he made against the female rapper.

During todays broadcast Jesse claimed that Nicki Minaj bailed her brother Jelani Maraj out of jail, and continues to support him. Her brother was convicted of sexual assault on a child.

Nicki, 36, went on social media earlier today and sent Jesse a message, after he made reckless remarks about her on today’s Daily Mail TV show.

Nicki posted on Instagram, “You better have a good lawyer, #JessePalmer #ArnoldPalmer You just lied on me on nat’l TV & now you’re being sued.” She sontinedd, “You better be able to back up what you just said about me with FACTS. #SuperFacts #Defamation.”

She then continued her rant on Twitter, posting, “You going to jail 😂😂😂😂😂@JessePalmerTV,” and “The barbz are getting more tuition & student loan money after I sue this h*e.”

Nicki has been all over the news this week, when she went  public with her new boyfriend Kenneth “Zoo” Petty. Kenneth was convicted of a s*x crime when he was a juvenile, he also was convicted of Manslaughter in 2002.

Since being released from prison more than 5 years ago, Kenneth has worked to become a top entertainment executive and mogul.

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Are Strictly finalists Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell dating? Timeline of their budding romance



Back at the end of the summer, Joe Sugg was entertaining his 8.2 million YouTube followers with his usual pranks and silliness, unaware of the romance rumours that would be circling around him just a matter of months later.

There has been much made about the Strictly curse but there was little to suggest that ‘ThatcherJoe’ would find a partner in love as well on the dancefloor.

When he was paired with Australian dancer, Dianne Buswell, she was in a relationship with a soap star and all Joe could think about was where he was going to put his left foot next and hope he doesn’t get a tongue lashing from the Strictly judges.

Joe and Dianne have refused to deny their budding romance

Fast forward to December and the 27-year-old YouTuber has grown closer to Dianne, 29, and the pair are loving each other’s company.

This is how Joe met Dianne and how their budding romance blossomed;

Joe and Dianne are hand-in-hand on and off the dancefloor

August – Joe Sugg becomes the fourth contestant announced for Strictly Come Dancing 2018

September 8 – Dianne Buswell is revealed as Joe’ partner when Strictly returns to TV.

September 22 – Joe is first seen hand-in-hand with Dianne as the pair dance together for the first time in the live shows.

Joe and Dianne have been getting closer during their time on Strictly

The couple are very comfortable in each other’s company

September – Joe shared pictures of Dianne online, saying that he, “couldn’t be happier.”

September – Joe and Dianne start attending parties together during London Fashion week. By now, they are posting pictures on social media with their arms draped around one another.

The dance pair have gone all the way to the final

October 10 – The dynamic of Joe and Dianne’s dance coupling changes. The Aussie dancer reveals she has split from her actor boyfriend Anthony Quinlan.

She had an on-off relationship with the Emmerdale actor but, “due to their busy schedules and distance they have split but still remain really close friends.”

With this, a source said that, “backstage [Joe and Dianne] are inseparable even when they are not rehearsing.”

They also said that when they are sitting on sofas together, “their legs often intertwine and they are very tactile with each other.”

They have enjoyed nights out together

October 20 – Joe and Dianne are even more comfortable in each other’s company, posting a number of videos on Instagram that show the pair are full of smiles and larking around.

October 25 – Joe is playing it cool as romance rumours are whipped up. He says, “No, I don’t think so. I haven’t got time,” when asked if him and Dianne were dating. He did confirm that they would remain ‘friends’ after Strictly comes to an end.

They have enjoyed their time together so far

October 26 – The pair are ‘inseparable’ and there are reports that they are spending every waking moment together, even after rehearsals. A source said: “Joe has even been inviting Dianne back to his house and they have been staying up to all hours chatting and hanging out.”

October 29 – Joe and Dianne are spotted getting cosy, after they are seen sneaking back to Joe’s London flat after having a ‘secret date’.

October 31 – Dianne calls Joe her “boyfriend” in a video posted on social media.

November 3 – Joe’s friend, singer Conor Maynard, urges him to hook up with Dianne and make it official.

Joe and Dianne have hit it off both on and off the dancefloor

November – As the pair get further in the Strictly process, Joe and Dianne are spending more than 13 hours a day together.

November 22 – Dianne cannot keep her eyes off of Joe during an appearance on Strictly spin-off show, It Takes Two. Her ‘look of love’ dominates the headlines.

November 24 – Joe hits back at reports that the pair were ‘snogging like teenagers’ after the Strictly week in Blackpool. He says he ‘hasn’t got time’ for romance.

Joe’s friends have urged him to make it ‘official’ with Dianne

November – Strictly host Tess Daly ‘confirms’ the relationship as she says that Dianne is ‘showing off’ Joe, as they wait for the judges critique.

December 5 – Joe takes a different stance and now refuses to deny his coupling with Dianne.

December – Dianne takes a two-night stay at Joe’s flat, as the rehearsing intensifies.

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Love & Hip Hop’s Yung Joc New Hairstyle -Struggle Ponytail!!



Yung Joc from Love & Hip Hop now has a struggle ponytail.

Love & Hip Hop star Yung Joc is known for having different hairstyles – most of them are usually worn by middle aged women.

Now Joc has a new hairstyle. And surprise – it’s also a hairstyle that many middle aged women wear. Its called the “struggle ponytail.” 

The Love & Hip Hop star’s ponytail is considered struggle, because he has to pull hair extra tight – just to get that teeny tiny ponytail.

And his fans are making all kinds of jokes, about Joc’s new look. For example, some of Joc’s fans are saying that his ponytail looks like the end of a tied up trash bag. 

We’ve included a pic of a trash bag below, for comparison.

Here’s the video of Young Jocks new hairstyle:

And here are images of Young Joc’s look:


Yung Joc had his debut on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta in 2014. When he resurfaced, he definitely got people’s attention… but not necessarily in a good way. If you look up “baby mama drama” in the dictionary, you’ll see a selfie of Joc, along with his four former lovers and eight kids. But surprisingly, do you want to know what really gets people talking about the star? His blowout.

When he decided to wear it straight last year, blogs and Twitter went wild for his silky smooth pressed hair. The look inspired a whole bunch of memes — many of which he embraced — that continue to make people laugh out loud to this day. And his hair still gets a fresh wave of attention every Monday when the show airs. The Game even recently posted a photoshopped version of Joc with a “fried-dyed-laid to the side” version of the style, and Nicki Minaj herself trolled him the comments. Joc, who seems to be a good natured guy, joined in on the fun, too.

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