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10 Songs You Didn’t Know Ed Sheeran Wrote

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Ed Sheeran; 10 songs you didn't know wrote

Ed Sheeran wrote many songs for other artists.

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Ed Sheeran hasn't yet released a Number One single in the U.S. under his own name – "Thinking Out Loud" stalled at Number Two thanks to the unstoppable "Uptown Funk." However, this February a song Sheeran wrote with Justin Bieber, "Love Yourself," ended up topping the charts. In fact, you've been hearing songs that Sheeran wrote for and with other artists for years, whether you've known it or not. Here are 10 of the most noteworthy.

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Hoodie Allen, “All About It” (2014)

Though Sheeran and collegiate pop-rap cutie Hoodie Allen were longtime pals, they didn't collaborate until 2014, when they cut this track for Allen's debut studio album, People Keep Talking, in a single night. "We finished the whole song in four hours," Allen told Billboard. "And eight months later, after tweaking the beat nonstop, we had the final version." The sing-song rap style Sheeran adopts here allows him to boast more explicitly about his writing skills than he does in his pop-folk mode, and the video, in which both performers dress like musclebound superheroes, permits Ed to goof around too. 

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Jessie Ware, “Say You Love Me” (2014)

"I've stopped giving away songs now," Sheeran said in 2014. "I'm just going in with people to write songs, because I find then it's a lot easier to let songs go." One such collaborator was Jessie Ware, already well-known in the U.K. and critically acclaimed in the U.S. for her alt-R&B fare. "Say You Love Me" may have only been a minor hit for Ware, but it was a track she felt nudged her forward artistically. "I have to give [Sheeran] so much credit for being able to write something that's so right for me and elevates the way I sing – he really pushed me hard," she said.

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Lupe Fiasco, “Old School Love” (2013)

Just as Sheeran's opening slot on Taylor Swift's Red tour was breaking him to U.S. audiences, he surfaced by singing the hook on Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco's nostalgic single "Old School Love." Though it seems like an unlikely collab, Sheeran had already collaborated with British hip-hop acts Wretch 23 and Devlin. "[Lupe] just gave me about seven beats and said write choruses to all of these," Sheeran said at the time, calling himself "a massive Lupe Fiasco fan." But with Ed lending his easy, mild-tempered feel, you'd think the singer and the MC were in the same room.

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Taylor Swift, “Everything Has Changed” (2012)

Though Taylor Swift has collaborated with top-shelf songwriters from Nashville pro Liz Rose to Swedish pop mastermind Max Martin, Sheeran is among the few who also sang a duet with her. The two wrote "Everything Has Changed" at Swift's home, where, according to Sheeran, he questioned a chord Swift wanted to use. She responded to his challenge playfully, pointing to her shelf full of Grammys, but he held his ground: "She didn't like that but I forced it upon her." The session was playful, with the two superstars completing the song while bouncing on Swift's newly purchased trampoline – because, as Swift told MTV, "The combined maturity of us is like eight years old."

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One Direction, “Little Things” (2012)

As a songwriter, Sheeran got in on the ground floor of the 1D world takeover, contributing "Moments" to the group's debut, Up All Night. Two of his songs appeared on the group's second album, including this sweetly teasing ballad, which he offered them at the very last minute. "I wrote that song with … Fiona Bevan when I was 17 and we lost the song," Sheeran said at the time. Years later, Bevan found it and sent a copy to Sheeran, asking if he recalled writing it – he did and was in the studio with "the One Direction boys" at the time. According to Harry Styles, "We went in to record a different one of his and he said, 'I've written something else if you want to hear it.' … We said, 'All right, we want to record that now.'"

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