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Finance & Innovation

Writing a song and paying a mortgage with Ed Sheeran

Ben Watts

It’s cool when the stage, TV or big-screen presence of a celebrity you like is compatible with their real-life personality.

Sure, a lot of stars are generous when under the glare of lights and cameras--but is that personality carried off stage into their day-to-day lives?

This isn’t much of a surprise, but Ed Sheeran is apparently just as friendly and compassionate off-stage as he is on-stage.

Global Citizen had the honor of hosting Sheeran at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival and he played wonderfully.

sheeran and coldplay GC circle edited.jpgImage: Getty Images

His stage presence just radiates goodness. All his songs (at least all the songs I’ve heard) are optimistic and caring.

And now the world has more evidence of his generous outlook on life--off the stage.

His teenage friend, Amy Wadge, told him she was having trouble paying her mortgage and other bills back in 2013. Mortgages are a huge burden, especially in a tight economy. A missed payment happens, interest rates spike and the whole thing can escalate out of control.

So Amy asked Ed if she could write a song for his upcoming 2nd album to be stuck onto the end. They had collaborated in the past--he even released an EP called Songs I Wrote With Amy--so it wasn’t an unusual request.

Even still, Sheeran was a big time music star. Would he want to complicate his album and worry his producers and whoever else had a financial stake in his success?

Who cares, right?

Amy was a loyal friend who needed help. Of course she could write a song for his album.

And so she did. She wrote “Thinking Out Loud,” and it turned out to be the biggest hit on his album in 2014, the first single to ever stay in the UK Top 40 for an entire year.

Now Amy isn’t stressing about her mortgage. Now she’s going on vacation with her 2 kids.

And something tells me she won’t be struggling to get by in the future. Who doesn’t want to collaborate with a songwriter who wrote the hottest track in UK history?


Not everyone can offer friends in need the opportunity to write a song on an album, but everyone can offer to give support and opportunities to those in need. Giving opportunities to friends, family, communities, and people around the world is the cornerstone of the type of development advocated by Global Citizen. Ed Sheeran has inspired global citizens with his music and his deeds. I hope everyone can follow his example.