PERFORMING ARTS

Sheeran: A Biography

Diversion. Oct. 2019. 320p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781635766516. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781635766523. MUSIC
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How did Ed Sheeran (b. 1992) go from a shy, ginger-haired boy with a stammer to a Grammy Award–winning musician who has sold more than 150 million records? This new biography of the wildly popular singer takes fans on a speedy journey through Sheeran’s career, beginning with his upbringing and the amazing support of his family, while describing the ups and downs he encountered on his way to superstardom. Seasoned celebrity biographer Smith (J.K. Rowling) cites exclusive interviews and new research materials and includes a small collection of photographs. However, the frenetic pacing creates a shallow and dispassionate tone, stealing readers’ chances of making an emotional connection with Sheeran. Occasionally, the author abandons his subject entirely, veering off course by detailing unnecessary background information about other artists.
VERDICT This bland biography fails to capture Sheeran’s personality or the essence of his artistry. It will suffice as an introduction to Sheeran for casual fans, but there is nothing here that the singer’s ardent admirers haven’t already heard.

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