The A Team

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This debut track from the then-20-year-old British singer-songwriter has a dark story behind it. Sheeran says he culls songwriting inspiration from "viewing other people's situations," which, for the heroine in "The A Team," involves drug addiction and prostitution that began as a teen. Sheeran paints the woman's trials with haunting imagery such as "But lately her face seems/Slowly sinking, wasting/Crumbling like pastries." "I did a gig at a homeless shelter, [and the song] is about one of the women there. It's her story," he said.