More than 8 million people watched the MTV Video Music Awards last Sunday where British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran was nominated for six awards—second in number of nominations only to Taylor Swift. You may know that Sheeran didn’t take home a Moon Man that night, although he did get Best Male Video last year for “Thinking Out Loud.” Just a few months ago, however, he was the big winner at another event that was all about his voice.
Ed Sheeran stutters and on June 8, the American Institute for Stuttering honored him at its annual gala. In his acceptance speech, Sheeran talks about dealing with the fluency disorder and not letting it prevent him from pursuing his musical dream. He adds that he’s also missing an ear drum in one ear, so the stutter isn’t his only obstacle. Sheeran says he received treatment, and also notes how memorizing fast, percussive rap songs helped him learn to sing without the stutter.
For that evening’s audience, Sheeran focused on the kids who share his speech disorder. He told them not to worry about stuttering. He emphasized being yourself and embracing your quirks as the best approach for any child.
Sheeran added that kids who stutter shouldn’t “treat it as an issue—work through it and get the treatment that you want to get, but don’t ever treat it as an issue. Don’t see it as a plight on your life, and carry on pushing forward.”