Watch Ed Sheeran Cover Limp Bizkit, Iron Maiden on 'Fallon' - Rolling Stone
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Watch Ed Sheeran Cover Limp Bizkit, Iron Maiden on ‘Fallon’

Pop’s “cherub-faced troubadour” previews fake metal compilation in hilarious ‘Tonight Show’ sketch

Ed Sheeran previewed a game-changing new compilation during a sketch on the The Tonight Show Monday night that’s sure to be a hit everywhere, from suburban coffee shops to minivans to office building elevators: Ed Sheeran Sings Heavy Metal.

As Jimmy Fallon, playing turtlenecked spokesman Steve Joshua, notes, it’s a soft-rocking disc for those who “enjoy the morbid and disturbing themes of heavy metal music, but wish it had a more cheerful, pleasant sound.”

Sheeran gamely grabbed his guitar for the bit and plucked out a couple of heavy metal classics in his angelic singer-songwriter style, starting with a rendition of Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” that makes James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” sound like Warrant’s “Cherry Pie.”

The “pop music cherub-faced troubadour,” as Fallon calls him, then delivered a delightful performance of “Break Stuff” by nu-metal heroes Limp Bizkit. Amidst a green screen background of a roiling thunderstorm, Sheeran sweetly sang about all the “he said, she said bullshit” and, understandably, proved incapable of keeping a straight face.

Like any self-respecting CD one can order after midnight through a special television offer, Ed Sheeran Sings Heavy Metal comes with a special bonus disc: Ed Sheeran Sings Hardcore Rap. The musician then promptly previewed his rousing, heartwarming cover of Ty Dolla $ign’s “Paranoid.”

The conceit of the Tonight Show bit may have been inspired by Sheeran’s own tendency for performing unexpected covers live. During a concert this past weekend in Queens, New York, Sheeran wove 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” into his own track, “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” while also covering Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” Last month, he enlisted opener Ben Kweller for a duet of “Stand By Me” to honor recently deceased soul giant Ben E. King.

Sheeran will continue to tour extensively throughout the summer in support of his 2014 LP, X. A full list of dates, both North American and international, is available on his website.

In This Article: Ed Sheeran, The Tonight Show


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