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Ed Sheeran dedicates song to “best friend” Jamal Edwards at special London gig

Sheeran performed at the Royal Albert Hall last night in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust

By Tom Skinner

Jamal Edwards and Ed Sheeran pose for a photo in matching hoodies
Jamal Edwards and Ed Sheeran. (Picture: Ed Sheeran, official Instagram)

Ed Sheeran paid tribute to the late Jamal Edwards at his show in London on Sunday (March 27) – check out the footage below.

Sheeran was performing a special gig at the Royal Albert Hall in London in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. To close the 23-track set, the singer-songwriter played his 2011 single ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’, which appears on his debut studio album, ‘+’.

Back in 2010, Sheeran performed the song in question on SBTV: Music, the YouTube channel that Edwards founded as a teenager in the mid-’00s. Edwards has since been credited with helping propel the careers of numerous major talents in the UK, including Sheeran, Stormzy and Dave.

According to Metro, the ‘=’ singer dedicated ‘You Need Me…’ to Edwards at Sunday’s concert. “We lost a really, really amazing soul just over a month ago, Jamal Edwards,” Sheeran told the crowd ahead of playing his final track of the evening.

“He was my best friend, he was my brother. He changed my life. The song that I’m going to play is a song that he put onto his channel and this song opened up every single door for me. And I just want to say that this one’s for him. My brother.”

Watch fan-shot footage of the performance here:

Jamal Edwards died last month due to a “sudden illness”. He was 31 years old. At the time, Sheeran paid tribute by sharing an old photograph of the pair together, wearing matching ‘The Grime University’ hoodies.

“I haven’t posted anything coz I can’t find the words, I can’t reply coz I don’t know what to say,” he wrote as the caption. “Jamal is my brother. His light shone so bright. He only used it to illuminate others and never asked for anything in return.”

Sheeran continued: “A stars light shines for millions of years after they go, and his will continue to light up every dark moment, we are all witnessing his power. I would not be here without him, professionally and personally. There will never be anything close to what he is, but I’m so grateful to have existed within his orbit.”

He concluded the post by writing: “My brother, come on.”

As Metro reports, Sheeran delivered a stripped-back set for his Teenage Cancer Trust gig, which included tracks from across his four studio albums to date.

Ed Sheeran is scheduled to embark on a UK and Ireland stadium tour this spring. See the full schedule and find ticket details here.