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Ed Sheeran previews new Christmas duet with Elton John

"There's loads of sleigh bells on it," says the singer-songwriter who released his new album '=' today

By Hollie Geraghty

Ed Sheeran looks up and wears a white t-shirt in a press shot
"There's loads of sleigh bells" on the Christmas track with Elton John, according to the singer-songwriter. (Photo: Press).

Ed Sheeran has previewed his upcoming Christmas song which will feature Elton John.

The British artist, who released his new album ‘=’ today, recently revealed that he and Elton John have collaborated on a Christmas single.

Speaking with Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2 to celebrate the release of the new album, he performed a snippet of the track live.

“So kiss me under the mistletoe / Pour out the wine / Let’s toast and pray for December snow,” he sang. “I know there’s been pain this year but it’s time to let it go / Next year you’ll never know / But for now Merry Christmas.”

He added: “There’s loads of sleigh bells on it and it sounds a lot more Christmassy than that.”

First sharing the news of the festive collaboration with Dutch radio station NPO Radio 2, Sheeran said: “Elton rang me on Christmas Day to say Merry Christmas. Elton rings me almost every single day.

He added that John was excited that his 1973 single, ‘Step Into Christmas’, had finally reached the UK top 10 last year. “[Elton] said, ‘Step Into Christmas is Number 6 in the charts! I want to do another Christmas song – will you do it with me?’” 

The pair are yet to share the name and release date of the track.

Sheeran has also announced a special one-off gig at St John at Hackney Church in London on December 13.

The gig is in aid of the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation, which was launched by the singer in 2019 with the aim to “help young people under the age of 18, and living in Suffolk (UK), with small but useful grants to help with studying or playing music”.

In Rolling Stone UK’s two-star review of the artist’s new record, Ali Shutler wrote that the singer-songwriter’s “personal reflections often fail to hit the intended note”. He added that while there were “flashes of brilliance”, it failed to convey its message of “being present and celebrating your loved ones”, and instead was “retreading the same ground”.