Defiant Ed Sheeran encourages children with a stutter to embrace themselves in a moving account of his struggle
Ed Sheeran has spoken of his battle with a stutter in an inspiring speech at a benefit event.
The 24-year-old singer revealed that he’d suffered from stammering as a child at the 9th Annual American Institute For Stuttering Benefit Gala in New York this week and admitted that it added to the struggles he already faced.
‘I was a very, very weird child. Very weird child,’ said Ed.
‘And I had a port-wine stain birthmark on my face that I got lasered off when I was very young, and one day they forgot to put the anaesthetic on, and then ever since then I had a stutter – and I also had very, very big blue NHS glasses.
‘And I lacked an ear drum on one side of my face – one side of my ear – so stuttering was actually the least of my problems when I went to school, but it was still quite a difficult thing, and the thing that I found most difficult about it was, knowing what to say but not really being able to express it in the right way.’
After trying different treatments such as speech therapy and homeopathy, Ed found the answer through music when he learned to rap along to Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP album and it eased his stutter.
But the singer stressed in his encouraging speech that he didn’t want children who are struggling with stammering to fret about it too much.
‘Stuttering is not a thing you have to be worried about at all, and even if you have quirks and weirdness, you shouldn’t be worried about that,’ said Ed.
‘[The] thing that I want to stress most here tonight is not necessarily to shed light on stuttering or make it a thing.
‘It’s just to stress to kids in general is to just be yourself ‘cause there’s no one in the world that can be a better you than you, and if you try to be the cool kid from class, you’ll end up being very boring.
‘Just be yourself, embrace your quirks – being weird is a wonderful thing. But I think, you know, I’m not very good at speeches, I don’t really do a lot of speeches but I think the one thing I want to say is be yourself, embrace yourself, embrace your quirks, and embrace your weirdness.’
Awww, we couldn’t agree more, Ed!
The singer was joined at the event by actress Emily Blunt – who also had a stutter as a child – and finished his talk by saying that they’d both done ‘alright’ despite their speech difficulties.
We think you’ve done more than alright, Ed – and this speech makes us love you even more!