Ed Sheeran Shares How Eminem Helped Him Overcome His Stutter
Ed Sheeran spoke with Howard Stern about having a stutter when he was younger ― and overcoming it with the help of an unlikely entertainer.
The “Shivers” singer said he developed the stutter after a port-wine stain birthmark removal procedure went wrong when he was very young.
“I didn’t know that you were born with this birthmark on your face and by accident, they didn’t give you anesthesia,” Stern said during the interview last week. “And they literally hurt you so bad when they were trying to burn this thing off, that it caused you to stutter.”
“Yeah, I think it messed with my nervous system,” Sheeran said, before explaining how ― with the help of listening to and imitating Eminem ― he was able to outgrow the condition.
“When I was 9, I was going through all sorts of speech therapy,” Sheeran said, adding that his uncle bought him “The Marshall Mathers LP” album by Eminem that same year.
“[My uncle] just said to my dad, ‘This guy’s the next Bob Dylan, you gotta let him listen,’” Sheeran explained. “My dad didn’t really clock it, you know? He was just like, ‘OK, Edward’s gonna go and listen to that.’”
“And by learning that record ― and rapping it back, to back, to back, to back ― it cured my stutter,” the singer said of listening to Eminem.
“And I stopped talking like that,” he said, imitating his stutter.
Things have found a way to come full circle, as Sheeran told Stern: “Years later, I’ve made songs with Eminem now and we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well.”
Sheeran has talked bout his connection to Eminem before, including while at the American Institute for Stuttering’s benefit gala in 2015.
“Embrace your weirdness,” the singer said in a speech at the time, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “From a stuttering point of view, don’t treat it as an issue. Work through it and get the treatment you want to get, but don’t ever see it as a plight on your life. Carry on pushing forward.”