Ed Sheeran is really suffering.
He may be a global superstar, but here at a Dallas BBQ joint he’s just another guy holding a tray heaped with aromatic meats—which EW’s photo team won’t let him eat until we’ve got our shot. “I’m sorry, I’m just…” Sheeran, 24, struggles endearingly. “I’m starving.” But he endures like a champ (and finally chows down) as we, er, grill him on ballroom dancing, bizarro fans, and hanging with Beyoncé.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Welcome to Texas. Have you spent much time here before?
ED SHEERAN: There’s a thing about Texan people, I think, are very warm and welcoming and loving and everyone wants to invite you around for dinner, whoever you are. I remember the first gig I did on my first American tour, I was in a lift and a couple walked in and just started talking to me. In England, if people you don’t know start talking to you they’re probably going to rob you, so I was sort of wary. Then they were like, “All right, see y’all later!” And I was like, “Oh! They were just being nice.” I really like Texans.
Where is home for you now?
Still where I grew up. I was considering moving to America, but I don’t even spend more than a week in my own house in England, so I can’t really justify living here.
You played a ton of club dates until you were discovered in Los Angeles. What was the worst gig you ever played?
It was a gig in a place called Exiter. I got 50 pounds for that gig which was like $65-$70, but the ticket down there was 80 pounds. So I was kind of like, “If I sell CDs [at the gig], that will probably help with the train fare.” Got down there, empty venue. Just me and the sound engineer. Ended up waiting about an hour. Nobody came in. And I thought, “F— it, I’ll just go on.” So I played the gig to the sound engineer, and then went to the train station and realized I’d missed the last train to London. So I had to sit in a cold station for like seven hours doing nothing.