5 Songs You Didn’t Know Ed Sheeran Wrote for Other Artists

Today, Ed Sheeran is considered one of the best pop songwriters of his generation. The artist has written dozens of hits for himself as well as other big-name songs for other big-name artists.

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He’s famously penned “Love Yourself” for Justin Bieber and “Little Things” for One Direction. But there are also many other songs the 32-year-old British-born musician has penned for others.

Here are five hit songs that you likely didn’t know the four-time Grammy Award-winning Sheeran wrote for other artists, from Halsey to Alicia Keys and BTS.

1. “Underdog,” Alicia Keys

Written by Alicia Keys, Ed Sheeran, Foy Vance, Amy Wadge, Johnny McDaid, Jonny Coffer

Written by a handful of talented songwriters, including Sheeran and Keys, this song appeared on Keys’ 2020 LP, Alicia. It was the record’s third single and the track went platinum upon its release. The loquacious song features several stories about underdogs, from a homeless man to a woman riding in a taxi. Sings Keys,

So I sing a song for the hustlers trading at the bus stop
Single mothers waiting on a check to come
Young teachers, student doctors
Sons on the frontline knowing they don’t get to run
This goes out to the underdog
Keep on keeping at what you love
You’ll find that someday soon enough
You will rise up, rise up, yeah

2. “Tip of My Tongue,” Kenny Chesney

Written by Kenny Chesney, Ross Copperman, Ed Sheeran

Famously, Sheeran is talking more and more about venturing into the world of country music. Well, he already has, working with artists like Kenny Chesney. This song was released in 2019 ahead of Chesney’s 2020 album, Here and Now. The song is one of worship of a partner. Sings the country star,

I love the dimples in the small of your back
The way they’re speaking to me just like that
Red wine made my imagination run
Oh, I can taste it on the tip of my tongue

Let it rock, let it roll
Baby I am under your control
Love me fast, kiss me slow
Hang on to anything you can hold

It’s a long way down to where I wanna go
It’s a long way down to the center of your soul
It’s a long way down and I’m a loaded gun
But I love me some sugar on the tip of my tongue

3. “The Rest of Our Life,” Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

Written by Steve Mac Johnny McDaid Ed Sheeran Amy Wadge

This song was recorded by country power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill for the 2017 album of the same name. Hill has said that the song reminded her of when she and McGraw decided to get married in 1996 when McGraw was on tour. Sings McGraw to begin the tune,

Sitting with you in a dark room
Warmed by a fireplace
You know there’s just something about you
You brighten my day
I got something to run past you
I just hope I say it right
So I take your hand and ask you
Have you made plans for the rest of your life?

Adds Hill,

I’ve been making plans for children
Since I’ve been looking in your eyes
I even have names picked out for them
Daughter’d be Rose
Son it’d be Ryan

4. “Still Learning,” Halsey

Written by Frangipane Bell, Fred Gibson, Ed Sheeran, Romy Madley Croft

The penultimate song to Halsey’s 2020 album, Manic, this song is about the ironies of stardom. Or even the downsides of it. Halsey says she should be living the dream but really she’s just surrounded and protected by her security team. Something, it’s clear, Sheeran knows about too. Sings the pop star Halsey,

I should be living the dream
But I’m livin’ with a security team
And that ain’t gonna change, no
I got a paranoia in me
And you wouldn’t believe
Everything that I seen, no
Comin’ apart at the seams
And no one around me knows

Who I am, what I’m on
Who I’ve hurt and where they’ve gone
I know that I’ve done some wrong
But I’m tryna make it right
To the one I love, paint me wrong
Give me a light now (Oh-oh)
You know that I love you

5. “Permission to Dance,” BTS

Written by Ed Sheeran, Johnny McDaid, Steve Mac, Jenna Andrews

It’s a wonder the world didn’t explode with such high-octane artists coming together in BTS and Sheeran. This song from the South Korean boy band came out in 2021 as a solo single. It is the group’s third English-language single. It was a chart-topper all around the world. It’s all about the joy of youth and freedom. As the song’s opening lyrics show,

It’s the thought of being young
When your heart’s just like a drum
Beating louder with no way to guard it
When it all seems like it’s wrong
Just sing along to Elton John
And to that feeling, we’re just getting started

Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images

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