Ed Sheeran has announced he is hanging up his guitar and going into semi-retirement at the age of 28.
The Shape Of You singer — who is estimated to worth £160 million — told the crowd at Chantry Park in Ipswich on the final night of his Divide tour that he is giving up work for at least 18 months after over two years of being on the road.
Sheeran was overcome with emotion as he told the audience on Monday night: “As you may or not know, I’ve been on the Divide tour for over two years now and this is the last day of the whole thing.
“There is something very bittersweet about it. I love that you guys are here and we are ending it in Ipswich. This is my last gig for probably 18 months.
“We’ve played all around the world. Glastonbury, Wembley Stadium. All these amazing venues, America, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, South America — it’s been a wild one.”
He went on: “I was told before I came on that now at the end of this tour I’ve played to nine million people around the world. It is the biggest tour ever.
“It’s been an emotional day for a lot of people backstage. It kind of feels like, in a weird way, that you’re breaking up with a girlfriend that you’ve been with for years.
“It sounds odd but it has been a long tour.”
Sheeran — who over the last few years has bought up six neighbouring properties in the Suffolk town of Framlingham to create his rock star estate dubbed ‘Sheeranville’ — changed out of his Ipswich Town football shirt into one from his home town.
He said: “This is a Framlingham Town football shirt. I am from Framlingham. Suffolk is my home. I am so happy to be ending this mammoth tour here.
“I want to say thank you to everyone on this tour. Thank you to everyone who has given me a chance. This is my last song. I wrote this when I was 15 years old. See you in a few years’ time. Thank you.”
The Thinking Out Loud singer secretly married his childhood sweetheart Cherry Seaborn in December 2018 and recently revealed they’re planning to start a family.
He said in June: “I’m starting a life with Cherry. I can’t spend the next 20 years on the road.
“Kids would be the different thing. I wouldn’t mind sacrificing for them.
“If someone told me you can’t tour again for the next ten years if you have kids that is fine, because that is what I have signed up for.
“I’ve already achieved more than I thought I would, so now I’m just trying to have fun.”
This isn’t the first time the Photograph singer — who began his Divide tour in March 2017 — has taken time off. He did the same thing back in 2015, having worked non-stop since signing his record deal.
He said at the time: “I’d like to live for a bit! I feel like I live in a bubble where normal happens outside, and everything ‘Hollywood’ happens inside.
“I’d like to get on the outside for at least a year.”
Despite being the 17th highest earning British musician according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List, Sheeran has recently been plagued by plagurism allegations, claiming he copied other tracks for his hits Shape of You and Thinking Out Loud. In 2017 he paid £14 million in an out of court settlement over his hit Photograph, which songwriters for Matt Cardle’s 2012 track claimed was “instantly recognisable” as their song.