Disney+ announced today the four-part docuseries “Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All,” in which Emmy Award-winning producers at Fulwell 73 Productions (“Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium “Adele: One Night Only,” ”The GRAMMY Awards”) will take viewers on a journey around the world spotlighting how an unlikely child with a stutter rose to fame to become one of the biggest global music superstars and how his chart-topping hits were born.
For the first time, global superstar Ed Sheeran opens the doors to a definitive and searingly honest view of his private life as he explores the universal themes that inspire his music.
This series follows Ed after he learns of life-changing news and reveals his hardships and triumphs during the most challenging period of his life. Blending exclusive, never-before-seen personal archive, present-day actuality, authentic interviews with his wife and loved ones, and intimate performances in cinematic locations, the series widens the lens to unearth what Sheeran thinks of the world, of himself and his music, as well as showcases a decade of hits enjoyed by subscribers around the world.
Throughout his long, successful career, Sheeran has inspired multiple generations of adults, families, and kids across the globe with his chart-topping music and intimate storytelling in his songs. In each episode, Ed faces themes and emotions that most people experience. Ed expresses his deeper thoughts as he reassesses life, and how this difficult time has influenced him and his new music.
Ed’s upcoming sixth studio album, “ – ” (pronounced “Subtract”), is set to be released on Friday, May 5, through Atlantic in the US, Atlantic/Asylum Records in the UK, and Atlantic/Warner Music in the rest of world, with the lead single “Eyes Closed” arriving this Friday, March 24.
“In this docuseries, we’re going to reveal a side of Ed Sheeran that fans have never seen before,” said Ayo Davis, president, of Disney Branded Television. “Together with Fulwell 73, we’ve created something truly authentic and personal that will not only entertain audiences but also inspire them to dream big and pursue their passions.”
“I’ve always been very guarded in my personal and private life; the only documentary I’ve ever made has been one that focused on my songwriting,” said Sheeran. “Disney approached me to make a four-part documentary, and it felt like the right time to open the door and let people in. I hope people enjoy it.”
“Everyone in the world knows and loves Ed Sheeran’s songs, as he has been the soundtrack to so many moments of our lives,” said Fulwell 73 partners Ben Turner and Ben Winston in a joint statement. “But this series of films shows the true man behind the hits, showing Ed in an entirely different way after a tumultuous year personally and professionally. This four-part series has been an honor for us to make.”
Episodes include the following:
Ed Sheeran explains the unwavering work ethic that has driven his global success. With exclusive footage of his teenage years, Ed describes how he planned his unlikely success. When he was ignored by the music industry he started to play in unexpected settings until this determination brought him into contact with media entrepreneur Jamal Edwards in 2010. Together, they used the burgeoning internet to find their audience. “The A Team” breaks America but for Ed, something was still missing. Ed shares the story behind his iconic love song, “Perfect” about his old school friend and now wife Cherry which tells of their romantic love story. Ed seems to have everything until Cherry gets life-altering news and Ed quickly realizes that plans can change in an instant and he will have to adapt.
Ed, his parents, and his wife Cherry look at old photos of Ed and explain why he decided to return to live in his English hometown. With unseen footage of Ed’s Divide Tour, Ed introduces his tight fortress of trusted friends that keep him anchored. Then, the unthinkable happens. Ed’s best friend, Jamal Edwards suddenly dies. Ed struggles through a memorial for Jamal as he considers Jamal’s legacy. Ed meditates on the meaning of friendship and, using music as therapy, dives deep into work. During Ed’s 5-night run at London’s Wembley Stadium, British artist, Stormzy, joins Ed on stage in an epic performance before a smaller, surprise gig in his hometown. In a rousing homecoming singalong, Ed sings the iconic “Thinking Out Loud” to shocked locals looking on.
Ed shows his songwriting talents in exclusive archival footage showing the inception of one of his biggest hits, “Bad Habits.” Ed explains the origin story of writing “Eyes Closed” in 2018, through to its latest heartfelt version. After a turbulent year, Ed’s able to channel his emotions, and pours himself into completing his 5-album master plan with Subtract, which has eluded him for over a decade. Mourning the loss of Jamal, Ed continues at pace, filming 14 music videos for his new album, and has his childhood dream come true when he performs with Eminem at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, but Cherry worries he may be using work as a distraction. In an intimate performance, Ed publicly shares songs from Subtract for the first time but is overwhelmed when his emotions get the better of him.
In the final episode, Ed jets off to America to promote his tour. Both Ed and Cherry reflect on how they manage the challenges of balancing family life and work when they are regularly miles apart. Reunited at their home, Cherry explains how much of a shift she has seen in Ed over the last year. Ed meets up with a friend and fellow British artist, Stormzy, to share his apprehensions about releasing his most personal thoughts into the world with Subtract. In a tribute to Jamal, Ed writes a beat for his “F64” rap about their friendship for an intimate performance at Chelsea FC’s home ground, Stamford Bridge. After some good news about Cherry’s health, she and Ed reflect on all the hardships and triumphs over the last year and look towards the future having a more cherished outlook on life.
“Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All” is produced by Fulwell 73 Productions. For Fulwell 73, Ben Winston and Ben Turner are executive producers. David Soutar is the series director. For Disney Branded Television, Marc Buhaj is vice president, of Unscripted and Nonfiction, and Nicole Silveira is vice president, of Unscripted.
“Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All,” from Disney Branded Television, is set to premiere globally Wednesday, May 3, on Disney+.