Ed Sheeran goes public with past drug problems Recording artists losing their careers – and their lives – over drug problems is not a new story. The tale is just about as old as rock-and-roll itself. It’s a familiar pattern. An artist has a moderate problem, then achieves massive popularity. The fame, as well as the ego and the access, create a massive temptation problem, and the abuse spirals out of control.
How many great artists, how many great bands, have been destroyed because they couldn’t get a handle on their substance problem? Too many to count, really. Great acts who never reached their full potential because they couldn’t get the monkey off their back.
Ed Sheeran Makes a Change
Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was determined not to be one of them. He didn’t want to be another statistic, another sad footnote in the history of commercial music. So, when the drugs started holding him down and holding him back, he pushed pause on his career, so he could take time to vanquish his demons.
A recent Business Insider report records Sheeran’s saga, and the decision he made to make sure he kept going, for himself and his fans. Sheeran said he had battled for some time with substance abuse before deciding to take a year off. “I think you need to, when you get into the industry, adjust to it — and I didn’t adjust because I was constantly working on tour… And all the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them. Mostly, like, substance abuse. I started slipping into it, and that’s why I took a year off…”
Focus and Hard Work
Sheeran did not divulge the nature of the monkey he had on his back, but that wasn’t really the point of his story. He wanted people to understand it was possible to be – and remain – at the top of your game and still take care of yourself when you needed to.
How many times have we heard the story of an artist who just got plowed under by all the “stuff” happening on the road? Not this time. Instead of letting that get the better of him, Sheeran said he remembered what he was working for:
“I focused on work, and I can’t work under the influence, I can’t write songs under the influence, I can’t perform under the influence — so the more I worked, the less [I was tempted]… I’ve worked my whole life to get to where I am, and you can’t lose that over something that you do in your spare time.”