British singer Ed Sheeran bringing "A-Team" to U.S.
By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who conquered music charts in his native United Kingdom with his 2011 debut album "+", is bringing his unique style of acoustic soul hip-hop to the United States.
Sheeran, 21, of Suffolk county, England, created his album "+" in one month after his single "The A-Team" picked up steam through digital downloads in the UK early in 2011. It peaked at No. 3 on the singles chart.
The album, released last September, debuted at No. 1 in the UK and earned the coveted breakthrough artist and best solo male awards at the 2012 Brit Awards, the UK equivalent of the Grammys.
"The A-Team" is due to hit U.S. stores on June 12, riding the coattails of successful entries into the market by British boy bands One Direction and The Wanted.
"I'm not coming to be the antidote (to boy bands)," said Sheeran, who blends urban beats and rap into his pop style. "I'm coming to be myself, and hopefully people will like it. I think it's great that British acts, in general, not just boy bands and not just Adele ... are getting recognition in America."
Sheeran was among the performers at Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee in London on Monday, harkening back to his beginnings in music.
"The first time I picked up a guitar was when I saw Eric Clapton on TV at the golden jubilee play 'Layla,' and I thought 'that was a wicked song.' I wanted to learn it, so I got a guitar and learned it," said Sheeran.
Between 2005 and 2011, he recorded five extended plays including a collection of love songs called "Songs I Wrote With Amy". He delved into the UK grime scene with artists such as Wiley and Devil on another titled "No. 5 Collaborations Project." Continued...