It’s never a good time to get a positive COVID-19 test, but Ed Sheeran’s diagnosis came at an especially inconvenient time: he revealed last month that he had tested positive just days before the release of his new album = and just days before his planned appearance as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live. There were concerns that the program might need to replace Sheeran, but that is no longer the case.
Sheeran came to Instagram today to inform his fans that he is no longer required to quarantine and that his SNL performance will go on as planned. “Posting this shot to indicate I’m released from covid isolation today, so if you see me out and about I’ve had the all clear and done my quarantine,” he wrote beside a photo of himself performing. I’m excited to get back to work, and SNL is still on, so tune in Saturday, and I’ll see you there x.”
“Me and Johnny started this album June 2017 in Los Angeles, and finished it July 2021,” he wrote in a recent Instagram post on working on = with musician Johnny McDaid. What a journey you’ve had, man. When lockdown occurred, we all huddled together and began producing. In those first few weeks, we got Overpass Graffiti and Sandman, as well as a slew of others. Shivers was an irregularly shaped pillar around which the album formed. When things started to open up, we began writing songs in more exciting places.
Johnny would set up at old farms or country houses, and the two of us would simply make up songs. Bad Habits, Joker and the Queen, and Be Right Now were all performed in January at Glemham Hall in Suffolk. From Photograph to Shape of You, we’ve been writing music for ten years. It’s a pleasure to collaborate with you, brother, and I appreciate your leading me through this record anytime I got lost. Thank you for pushing me to do 92 different versions of a show to get it right. We created something unique, and you are unique as well. “Up the lads, you’ll never beat the boys,” says the narrator.