Ed Sheeran Reveals How He Responded to Wife’s Cancer Diagnosis

Ed Sheeran turned to songwriting when his pregnant wife, Cherry Seaborn, was diagnosed with cancer. 

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The GRAMMY Award-winner breaks into tears within the trailer of his Disney + docuseries, Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All. The vulnerable four-part series slated to arrive on Wednesday (May 3) displays Sheeran’s rise to stardom and downward spiral after his wife fell ill. 

The pop sensation quietly tied the knot to Seaborn in 2019 at an intimate ceremony with only 40 of their closest friends and family. Two years later, the private couple welcomed their first child—a daughter named Lyra Antarctica. The two also share a second baby girl named, Jupiter. In the midst of joy, life threw the family of four a curve ball—cancer. 

Seaborn says she took part in the documentary, because the future is unknown. 

“I got diagnosed with cancer at the start of the year, which was a massive s–ter,” she told the camera. “It made me massively reflect on our mortality. I would never agree to do anything like this, but it made me think, ‘Oh if I died, what’s people’s perception of me? What do you leave behind?” 

Meanwhile, the “Eyes Closed” singer has a different motive. Sheeran feels misunderstood, and the docuseries will give him the platform to share his truth. 

“For Ed, the whole point is he wants to say to people, ‘I’m not just this music machine. I’m not just this robot that tries to get No.1. I’m a father; I’m a song, I’m a friend.’ It wasn’t until this year when I was like, ‘I might die,'” she added.

Seaborn was initially diagnosed with a tumor while pregnant with their second daughter. When Sheeran first discovered the devastating news, he wrote seven songs in four hours. 

“It was horrible,” Sheeran said through tears.

“Some people write a diary and get their emotions out through the pen, and for Ed, if something really intense happens, he’ll go and write a song,” declared Seaborn. 

The 32-year-old hitmaker explained this music has always been a form of “therapy” for him, especially as a child. He said it was a creative and beneficial way for him to work through his “thoughts and feelings.” He believes this tactic “really works.” 

Within the vulnerable episode—where Sheeran pulls back the curtain, he expresses his excitement about sharing his love for his wife to the world. 

“It’s the most amazing thing in my life that nobody really knows about,” he uttered about the mother of his two children. “Everything in my life got so much better when she got into it.” 

The docuseries is timed to coincide with his vulnerable album, – (Subtract). The forthcoming record will drop on May 5 via Atlantic Records and will serve as the last installment in Sheeran’s mathematical project. 

The singer-songwriter is also in a legal battle over “Thinking Out Loud,” after Marvin Gaye’s co-writer Ed Townsend’s family accused Sheeran of copyright infringement over “Let’s Get It On.” Sheeran confirmed (May 2) that if he’s found guilty, he’s “done” playing music. 

“If that happens, I’m done. I’m stopping,” admitted Sheeran. “I find it to be really insulting. I work really hard to be where I’m at.” 

American Songwriter has been following the trial. Learn more about the court case, here

Photo by Dan Martensen / Atlantic Records

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