Edward Christopher Sheeran, MBE (born 17 February 1991) is an English singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and actor. Sheeran was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and raised in Framlingham, Suffolk. He attended the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford as an undergraduate from the age of 18 in 2009. In early 2011, Sheeran independently released the extended play, No. 5 Collaborations Project. After signing with Asylum Records, his debut album, + (read as "plus"), was released in September 2011. It topped the UK and Australian charts, reached number five in the US, and has since been certified seven-times platinum in the UK. The album contains the single "The A Team", which earned him the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. In 2012, Sheeran won the Brit Awards for Best British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act. "The A Team" was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards, where he performed the song with Elton John.
His second studio album, x (read as "multiply"), was released in June 2014. It peaked at number one in the UK and the US. In 2015, x won the Brit Award for Album of the Year, and he received the Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of the Year from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. His single from x, "Thinking Out Loud", earned him two Grammy Awards at the 2016 ceremony: Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. In May 2016, x was named the second best selling album worldwide in 2015.
Sheeran's third album, ÷ (read as "divide"), was released in March 2017. The album debuted at number one in the UK, the US and other major markets. The first two singles from the album, "Shape of You" and "Castle on the Hill", were released in January 2017 and broke records in a number of countries, including the UK, Australia and Germany, by debuting in the top two positions of the charts. He also became the first artist to have two songs debut in the US top 10 in the same week. By March 2017 Sheeran had accumulated ten top 10 singles from ÷ on the UK Singles Chart, breaking Scottish DJ Calvin Harris's record of most top 10 UK singles from one album. His fourth single from ÷, "Perfect", reached number one in the UK and Australia, while "Perfect Duet", an acoustic version featuring Beyoncé, reached number one in the US. Sheeran has sold more than 26 million albums and 100 million singles worldwide, making him one of the world's best-selling music artists.