Ed Sheeran Reveals He Quit Drugs After Death Of U.K. Rap Icon Jamal Edwards 

Ed Sheeran Jamal Edwards

Ed Sheeran struggled with depression and substance abuse, but Jamal Edwards’ death, brought on by cocaine use, spurred him to quit drugs.

Ed Sheeran has opened up about the passing of his “best friend” Jamal Edwards, who died last year. 

The founder of the trailblazing YouTube channel SB.TV, Jamal Edwards was a pioneer in the U.K. rap scene, helping launch the careers of Sheeran along with countless others. He died on Feb. 20 last year after suffering a cardiac arrhythmia. An autopsy determined Jamal’s sudden death was brought on by cocaine use. 

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A post shared by Jamal Edwards MBE, MBA 🇻🇨🇬🇧 (@jamaledwards)

In a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone, Ed Sheeran admitted that he was devastated after Jamal Edwards died, causing him to spiral into a deep depression. He also confronted his struggles with drugs and alcohol, vowing to quit the substances. 

“I felt like I didn’t want to live anymore,” he said of his friend’s passing. “And I have had that throughout my life.… You’re under the waves drowning. You’re just sort of in this thing. And you can’t get out of it.” Those thoughts seemed “selfish,” he declared, “especially as a father. I feel really embarrassed about it.” 

The 32-year-old singer admitted he “used to be a party boy” and tried several drugs in his twenties. He refused to name the substances but acknowledged he was “always a drinker” but didn’t touch “any sort of like, drug, until I was 24.” 

While he was “initially “sort of dabbling” his drug use spiraled and before long he was taking drugs daily. “Then it just turns into a habit that you do once a week and then once a day and then, like, twice a day and then, like, without booze. It just became bad vibes,’ the “Shape of You” hitmaker shared.  

Ed Sheeran Quit Drugs After Jamal Edwards Died

However, after Jamal Edwards died from cardiac arrhythmia brought on by cocaine use, Ed Sheeran resolved to stop taking drugs.  

“I would never, ever, ever touch anything again, because that’s how Jamal died. And that’s just disrespectful to his memory to even, like, go near,” he added. 

Jamal Edwards was due to curate a music video for Sheeran’s collab with New Jersey rapper Russ last year, but he tragically passed away the day before the scheduled shoot. 

“We were meant to shoot in February, but the day before Russ flew out, Jamal tragically died,” Sheeran explained. He decided to put out the song with Russ as a tribute and tapped U.K. grime legend Jammer to get on the track.  

”He was always about bringing people together and shinning a light,” Jammer said, sharing the video last July. “I’m glad we was able to execute your vision!! I hope this makes you proud. This year has been a tough one 💔 #JamalForever.” Check out the “Are You Entertained” video below.