With the release of his latest album, Divide, Ed Sheeran is turning to his family and their story for his music inspiration more than ever. Sheeran has always written about his own love and heartbreak, as most musicians in their early 20s do, but a stand-out song on his new album called "Nancy Mulligan" was not about a past love of his, but about his own grandparents' love story. The song tells the story of how Sheeran's grandparents fell in love despite religious differences. Since he was speaking so candidly about his grandparents, I wondered: Who are Sheeran's parents?
As it turns out, opening up more about his family story on this new record was a very conscious decision. Sheeran confessed to ET Online that his steady romance with girlfriend Cherry Seaborn caused him to explore other topics. He said,
"All my other albums have been about heartbreak and I'm just not in that place...I had to find new things to write about, so I guess I dwelled on my family a bit."
While he is obviously very inspired by his grandparents, Sheeran's parents have been a major source of love and support for him since the beginning of his career and he still seems to be very close to them. According to the Daily Mail, Sheeran's father, John, is an art lecturer and his mom, Imogen, is a jewelry maker.
John's official website lists his impressive credentials as a museum curator and art expert. He still works from the family's hometown of Suffolk. According to her jewelry page, Imogen has a full line of pieces inspired by Ed and his "happy, outgoing character and love of colour and fun." A piece of her jewelry, which was promoting a charity, has even been worn by Kate Middleton!
I personally also wondered if Sheeran wrote any songs for his parents on Divide, considering his grandparents' story was mentioned. According to Genius, "Supermarket Flowers" is a tribute to his late maternal grandmother from his mom's point of view. He told Zane Lowe during a track-by-track interview,
"It was written for my mom’s point of view. My grandmother was very ill during the time I was making the record and passed away at the end of me making the record so we wrote this song as a tribute and just left it on."
This family-inspired record only seems to be a natural progression for Sheeran as he's noted in the past that his family is the driving force behind his career. He told The Mirror in 2015,
“Being able to really pay my parents — not just financially — but being able to give them the things they wouldn’t have ever dreamed of...Seeing them going off doing their thing is probably the best thing that’s come out of my career."
It sounds like he's got some lovely parents, and great inspiration, by his side!