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Ed Sheeran reveals he’s considering a ‘transition into country’ music

The singer-songwriter says his growing interest in the country music genre is thanks in part to Taylor Swift.

Ed Sheeran’s next chapter might look like a country road and guitar.

On May 9, the “Eyes Closed” singer spoke with Billboard ahead of his performance at the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards in Frisco, Texas. Speaking about his music, the signer shared he’s interested in adding a new genre to his discography.

“I talk about this to my wife all the time. I would love to transition into country,” he told the outlet. “I love the culture of it; I just love the songwriting. It’s just like, brilliant songs.” 

58th Academy Of Country Music Awards - Arrivals
Sheeran on the red carpet at the ACM Awards.Jason Kempin / Getty Images

By way of explanation, Sheeran credited his longtime friend Taylor Swift for his interest in country music.

“I’d never really listened to country music as a kid growing up. It was only being on Taylor’s 'Red' tour and living in Nashville and her basically introducing me to that side of it,” he explained, adding that “there’s a radio station in England called (CountryLine Radio) that me and my wife have on all day, every day in the kitchen.”

In 2012, Swift shed her primarily country music image with her major hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and her fourth album, “Red,” which was distinctly more pop than country.

At the ACM Awards, Sheeran took the stage to perform a duet version of “Life Goes On,” a new song off his album “-” (pronounced "subtract"). Sheeran was joined by country star Luke Combs for the performance, who helped give the song a slight country twist.

58th Academy Of Country Music Awards - Show
Sheeran and Combs perform together at the Academy Of Country Music Awards.Theo Wargo / Getty Images

If Sheeran were to move into country, it wouldn't be his first foray into a different genre. In 2022, he released two songs with Latin superstar J Balvin: “Forever My Love” and “Sigue.” He was also a featured artist on Camila Cabello's Latin-inspired 2022 hit, “Bam Bam.”Changing genres is not the only thing that’s driving Sheeran these days. The singer and songwriter had a major win earlier this week when a jury ruled that he did not copy Marvin Gaye’s 1973 classic “Let’s Get It On” while creating his 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud.” 

Talking to Billboard, Sheeran underlined his hope that his victory will encourage artists to protect their work instead of opting to settle lawsuits. 

“The more that people step up and fight, the less it’s going to happen because the reason it has become a culture and a big money business is because of the threat of it. And so, people settle because they don’t want to spend a lot of money on lawyers and take time out,” he explained. “I took time out of promoting my album (for two weeks), and I spent a lot of money on lawyers to prove my innocence. And I think that if that happens more and more and more, it’ll just stop people thinking that they can just do a hit and run basically.”