Taylor Swift pays tribute to Ed Sheeran and his ‘legacy’ as he makes TIME’s Most Influential People list

Emma Powell
Good friends: Ed Sheeran poses with Taylor Swift: Anna Webber/Getty

Taylor Swift paid a touching tribute to Ed Sheeran as he was named on TIME’s Most Influential People list.

Swift praised Sheeran for having one of the “most impressive self-made careers in music” as she documented his transition from a “boy” into “more of a tank”.

She described him as “a young, precocious redheaded boy” from Framlingham, Suffolk, who “started writing songs and playing instruments like so many hopefuls do, but something very different happened that would set in motion one of the most impressive self-made careers in music.”

She continued: “Whether by choice or an unconscious evolution, when he decided on his musical ambitions, Ed became less of a boy and more of a tank. He is protected by an impenetrable and ever-present armour of enthusiasm that has helped him endure any setback, letdown or underestimation.

Musical buddies: Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran toured together (Jamie McCarthy/Getty)

“His reaction to any idea that fails is to almost immediately come up with a new one. He’s like a fighter who pops back up on his feet before you even noticed he’d been knocked down.”

The New Romantics singer said she knew Sheeran would be a star, even though he doubted himself, and revealed she first heard his career making hit, Thinking Out Loud in a dance-shoe shop in London.

Recalling the moment she wrote: “A few years ago, in a rare moment of admitting feeling defeated, Ed said to me, ‘I’m never going to win a Grammy’. Yes, you are, I said. You’re going to sweep the whole thing one of these years.

“It was a few weeks later when he met me in a dance-shoe store in London, where I was picking out rehearsal outfits, and said, ‘You have to hear this’.

“It was a song he’d just finished called Thinking Out Loud which went on to win Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 2016.”

She finished: “Congratulations to my friend Ed, for the legacy you’ve already built and the brilliant hook you probably just came up with five minutes ago.”

Other names featured on the list include Emma Stone, Margot Robbie, Ryan Reynolds, John Legend, Riz Ahmed, Alicia Keys, Barry Jenkins, Ava DuVernay and Leslie Jones.