Today Ed Sheeran revealed that he once got so drunk he accidentally “cracked” Justin Bieber’s face with a golf club in a dare gone awry, as most dares do. But as it turns out, there’s history to Sheeran’s difficulty staying out of harm’s way. Wherever he goes, the inevitability of injury seems to follow Sheeran. If you thought his royal bloodshed was bad, that was just the tip of the sword. As part of Vulture’s plea to keep Sheeran safe, below we revisit just how injury-prone the man has become.
His eardrum that won’t stop bursting.
Sheeran was pretty much set up to fail: As he explains to the BBC, he was born without an eardrum in one of his ears and it’s since been a lifelong pain in the arse for him. At 18, he burst his only eardrum. Then, thanks to jumping off a yacht at too high an altitude, he burst it again at age 24 in 2015, and had to have graft surgery to repair it. “It’s actually quite a common thing, so I wasn’t worried,” he assures us. Sheeran now says he only has about 25 percent hearing left in that ear, which can’t possibly be a problem for someone whose profession revolves around audio.
That time he melted off part of his foot on a hot spring.
Oh, but the eardrum wasn’t the first time Sheeran had to have a skin graft. While globetrotting the world during his yearlong break in 2016, Sheeran nearly lost a foot when he accidentally stepped on a geyser while climbing up a volcano in Iceland and suffered severe burns that required a skin graft. It also just so happened to be his 25th birthday. “They were like, ‘Don’t go off the path cause it’s dangerous,’” he told Graham Norton in gross detail. But Sheeran just couldn’t resist the allure of a bubbling hot spring, and walked over to see it up close. The ground collapsed, and Sheeran slipped and stepped right into it. “I don’t know if you’ve ever had an experience where it felt like you were gonna die, but it literally went in slow motion and I thought, right, well that’s the end.” Pro tip: Always heed the tour guide’s warnings!
He’s got a knack for slicing open his hand with a beer bottle.
It’s not entirely clear whether or not Sheeran’s done this more than once or if both these incidents are one and the same, but it appears Sheeran has no regard for the well-being of his hands. (Those vital body parts he uses to play his guitar, NBD.) In 2013, while out to karaoke with Gavin DeGraw in Nashville while on tour with Taylor Swift, Sheeran somehow managed to cut up his hand so badly that he had to go the ER. (“Sources” say he cut it on glass at the bar.) He posted pictures of both the gruesome injury (saying only “oops”) and the cherry on top of his no-good-very-bad day: a flat tire. Just another reason why being a homebody is underrated.
But wait a minute, has Sheeran done this twice? He recently told the BBC a shockingly similar story about a time when he “smashed a bottle of beer into my hand and got 12 stitches before a gig.” He claims he nearly hit a tendon, which would’ve made it impossible to play the guitar ever again with that hand. But because Sheeran is invincible, he then went on to play said gig, ripped open the stitches, and is now haunted by the whole experience of what he says is his worst injury yet. (It even triggers his hand twitching at the mere thought of it.) Even worse than …
That time he got his face gashed by a sword.
Blame James Blunt or Princess Beatrice, but the crown jewel of Sheeran’s track record of injuries is also his most British. It involves a faux knighting, a sword, and supposedly a royal. The story goes that Sheeran, Blunt, allegedly Princess Beatrice, and other famous Brits were partying at the Royal Lodge in Windsor when Blunt had the bright idea to pretend to get knighted. Of course, an authentic ceremonial sword was on hand (what’s a party without one?). Blunt got down on one knee and Beatrice is said to have accidentally grazed Sheeran’s cheek with the blade in the process of swinging it around. Sheeran went to to the hospital to stitch up the bloody mess, then returned the party, as you do. Naturally, he blames Blunt for it all: “James Blunt would like me to tell everyone that it was him and he was trying to reclaim his pop career by killing me.”
He’s now got a nice little battle scar to show for it — just one of many permanent reminders to take it easy, mate.