Ed Sheeran has revealed his wife Cherry was diagnosed with a tumor during her pregnancy with their second child.
The couple welcomed daughter Jupiter in May 2022 and are also parents to Lyra Antarctica, two.
The singer and his childhood sweetheart kept the pregnancy secret but he has now revealed that the couple were plagued with ‘fear, depression and anxiety’ because Cherry was diagnosed with a tumor that she couldn’t have treated until after she’d given birth.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday the 31-year-old singer explained that he struggled with his mental health last year as he tried to come to terms with his wife’s health issues as well as grieving the loss of his best friend Jamal Edwards.
Jamal, a music producer and the son of Loose Women star Brenda Edwards, tragically died after a cardiac arrest brought on by taking cocaine and drinking alcohol in February 2022.
Ed announced the release of his sixth studio album, Subtract, in the post, explaining it had been inspired by the personal tragedies he had faced.
He penned: ‘I had been working on Subtract for a decade, trying to sculpt the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear vision of what I thought it should be.
‘Then at the start of 2022, a series of events changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art.
‘Writing songs is my therapy. It helps me make sense of my feelings. I wrote without thought of what the songs would be, I just wrote whatever tumbled out. And in just over a week I replaced a decade’s worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts.
‘Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumor, with no route to treatment until after the birth.’
‘My best friend Jamal, a brother to me, died suddenly, and I found myself standing in court defending my integrity and career as a songwriter. I was spiraling through fear, depression and anxiety. I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air.’
‘As an artist I didn’t feel like I could credibly put a body of work into the world that didn’t accurately represent where I am and how I need to express myself at this point in my life.’
WHAT IS A TUMOUR?
A tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue that forms when cells grow and divide more than they should or do not die when they should.
Tumors may be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Benign tumors may grow large but do not spread into, or invade, nearby tissues or other parts of the body.
Malignant tumors can spread into, or invade, nearby tissues. They can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.
Ed continued: ‘This album is purely that. It’s opening the trapdoor into my soul. For the first time, I’m not trying to craft an album people will like, I’m merely putting something out that’s honest and true to where I am in my adult life.
‘This is last February’s diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is Subtract.’
The singer did not provide any further update on his wife’s health.
MailOnline has contacted Ed’s representatives for further comment.
Subtract is the final in his decade-long mathematical series – which follows 2021’s Equals, 2017’s Divide, 2014’s Multiply and 2011’s Plus.
Along with the news of his new album the father-of-two released a series of images taken by the acclaimed photographer, Annie Leibovitz.
He also shared a moving video of himself walking along the beach as the song titles were shown written in the sand, at one point climbing an unsteady ladder that fell apart on him.
Subtract will be released on May 5.
Ed also announced a select run of UK and European arena shows next year kicking off on March 23, 2023 in Manchester, taking in two nights at London’s The O2 arena on March 24 and 25 before heading to Glasgow and Dublin on March 28 and March 30, and wrapping in Paris on April 2.
The singer admitted he hasn’t been as ‘engaged’ with his fans online as he would have liked, with many of his recent posts simply promoting his music and tour performances.
In a video he shared on Instagram, Ed explained that he didn’t want to ‘pretend to be something he wasn’t’ by posting during his personal troubles, but vowed that he was hoping to be more active with his followers in the coming weeks.
Ed explained: ‘I realize I haven’t been that engaged in my social media or fanbase over the last couple of years and the things that have been posted on this account might have got a bit boring, I’m sorry, that’s my fault.’
‘The reason I’m making this video, just being totally honest, I’ve had some turbulent things happening in my personal life so I just didn’t really feel like being online and pretending to be something I’m not when I wasn’t really feeling like that.’
Ed then added: ‘I know that sounds weird, but hence I’m making this video to say things are looking up and I’m back online.
‘So you know, weird s**t is gonna start being posted here. I’ve made this video about 50 f*****g times I’m not making another one!’
In November, Ed told his followers that he was taking a break from social media, after wrapping up work on a new music video.
Sharing a behind-the-scenes snap overlooking a beach, he penned the caption: ‘Signing off now until 2023. See you in the new year. Much love, Ed x.’
Ed is in the middle of a worldwide tour, and is currently performing a run of shows in Australia and New Zealand.
He announced the news of daughter Jupiter’s birth in May last year in an Instagram post that read: ‘Want to let you all know we’ve had another beautiful baby girl.
‘We are both so in love with her, and over the moon to be a family of 4.’
The couple reportedly only confided in their closest family members about the pregnancy.
Ed had previously revealed having his daughter Lyra Antarctica was a ‘blessing’ and a ‘miracle’ after struggling to conceive with Cherry.
The singer told how the couple had booked doctors appointments to check everything was okay after ‘trying to have a kid for a while’.
They then welcomed their first child after conceiving naturally during a holiday in 2019 to Antarctica – which inspired the unusual name
In October, the BRIT Award winner joked that he and Cherry were ‘in the trenches’ as they cared for their children.
Giving a further insight he said on Good Morning America: ‘They’ve been on tour with me. My second daughter was born while we were on tour, but my first daughter comes to the shows, she’s quite aware.
‘I think she assumes everyone else’s dad sings as well, though,’ Ed joked.
‘It’s every cliché that people say about parenting. You love both kids exactly the same but also completely differently. I’m really enjoying being a father of two,’ he continued.
Ed and Cherry were childhood sweethearts, having grown up together in the same town.
They rekindled their romance in 2014 and tied the knot in a small ceremony five years later.
‘Me and Cherry’s actual wedding was a tiny affair, with hardly anyone there,’ Ed revealed to fellow musician Jessie Ware on her Table Manners podcast.
‘We did it at night, at a random day in the middle of January, in the middle of nowhere,’ the Sing hitmaker added.
Three months before the couple welcomed their second child, Ed was left devastated by close friend Jamal’s shock death.
The star paid tribute to his late pal earlier this month with a moving freestyle that he filmed at Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea FC, of whom Jamal was a fan.
Paying tribute to his pal during an interview with BBC News, Ed said that he believes he wouldn’t be the star he is now without Jamal’s support.
‘I really don’t think I would have been given the opportunities that I was given had it not been for Jamal putting his arm around me,’ he said.
He added that he had been performing on the acoustic scene for several years before Jamal discovered him and asked him to perform on his YouTube channel.