Disney+ has revealed that Ed Sheeran: The Sum Of It All, a docuseries about the singer-songwriter, is set for a global debut May 3, 2023, on the streamer.
Disney+ says the four-part docuseries will spotlight how an unlikely child with a stutter rose to fame, and how his chart-topping hits were born.
Billed as a definitive view into Sheeran’s private life, the artist shares thoughts about how this difficult time in his life has influenced him and his new music.
“I’ve always been very guarded in my personal and private life; the only documentary I’ve ever made has been one that focused on my songwriting,” said Sheeran on his Instagram.
“Disney approached me to make a four-part documentary on the making of my next album ‘Subtract.’ Initially the documentary was just that, a documentary on the formation of an album.”
“But, as my life took a few twists and turns, the subject matter of the album changed, and so did the documentary. It became something completely different to what I thought it would be. I wanted to provide context to the album as it touches on very personal things, that we all experience.”
“I knew if I made a documentary, I would want to put my trust in the hands of the director, so it wouldn’t be sculpted by me, and was actually an accurate reflection of who I am, even if it’s uncomfortable to watch. The team at Fulwell 73 Productions have done a fantastic job of that.”
“Ginger hair…he stutters…that guy doesn’t become a pop star, ” Sheeran says as the trailer for Sum of It All begins. It then shows how wrong that statement is, even in the face of personal grief and loss.
Take a look:
Each part of the docuseries has a subtitle: “Love,” “Loss,” “Balance” and “Life”:
Ed Sheeran explains the unwavering work ethic that has driven his global success. With exclusive footage of his teenage years, Ed describes how he planned his unlikely success.
When he was ignored by the music industry he started to play in unexpected settings until this determination brought him into contact with media entrepreneur Jamal Edwards in 2010. Together, they used the burgeoning internet to find their audience. “The A Team” breaks America but for Ed something was still missing.
Ed shares the story behind his iconic love song, “Perfect” about his old school friend and now wife Cherry which tells of their romantic love story. Ed seems to have everything, until Cherry gets life altering news and Ed quickly realizes that plans can change in an instant and he will have to adapt.
Ed, his parents, and wife Cherry look at old photos of Ed and explain why he decided to return to live in his English hometown.
With unseen footage of Ed’s “Divide Tour,” Ed introduces his tight fortress of trusted friends that keep him anchored. Then, the unthinkable happens. Ed’s best friend, Jamal Edwards suddenly dies. Ed struggles through a memorial for Jamal as he considers Jamal’s legacy. Ed meditates on the meaning of friendship and, using music as therapy, dives deep into work.
During Ed’s 5-night run at London’s Wembley Stadium, British artist, Stormzy, joins Ed on stage in an epic performance before a smaller, surprise gig in his hometown. In a rousing homecoming singalong, Ed sings the iconic “Thinking Out Loud” to shocked locals looking on.
Ed shows his songwriting talents in exclusive archival footage showing the inception of one of his biggest hits, “Bad Habits.” Ed also explains the origin story of writing his upcoming single “Eyes Closed” in 2018, through to its latest heartfelt version.
After a turbulent year, Ed’s able to channel his emotions, and pours himself into completing his 5-album masterplan with Subtract, which has eluded him for over a decade.
Mourning the loss of Jamal, Ed continues at pace, filming 14 music videos for his new album and has his childhood dream come true when he performs with Eminem at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, but Cherry worries he may be using work as a distraction. In an intimate performance, Ed publicly shares songs from Subtract for the first time but is overwhelmed when his emotions get the better of him.
In the final episode, Ed jets off to America to promote his tour. Both Ed and Cherry reflect on how they manage the challenges of balancing family life and work when they are regularly miles apart. Reunited at their home, Cherry explains how much of a shift she has seen in Ed over the last year.
Ed meets up with friend and fellow British artist, Stormzy, to share his apprehensions of releasing his most personal thoughts into the world with Subtract. In a tribute to Jamal, Ed writes a beat for his “F64” rap about their friendship for an intimate performance at Chelsea FC’s home ground, Stamford Bridge.
After some good news about Cherry’s health, she and Ed reflect on all the hardships and triumphs over the last year and look towards the future having a more cherished outlook on life.
Behind The Scenes
Emmy-winning producers Fulwell 73 Productions (Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium; Adele: One Night Only; the Grammy Awards) and Disney Branded Television have partnered to present this docuseries.
Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All is executive produced by Fulwell 73’s Ben Winston and Ben Turner. David Soutar is series director. Overseeing for Disney Branded Television is VP Unscripted and Nonfiction Marc Buhaj and VP Unscripted Nicole Silveira.
“In this docuseries, we’re going to reveal a side of Ed Sheeran that fans have never seen before,” Disney Branded Television president Ayo Davis said. “Together with Fulwell 73, we’ve created something truly authentic and personal that will not only entertain audiences but also inspire them to dream big and pursue their passions.”
This docuseries coincides with the release of Ed Sheeran’s upcoming sixth studio album, “ – ” (pronounced “Subtract”). It will be released two days after the docuseries on May 5 through Atlantic in the U.S., Atlantic/Asylum Records in the UK, and Atlantic/Warner Music in the rest of world.
The lead single, “Eyes Closed,” will hit airwaves March 24.
Sheeran has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. He has won multiple Grammys, Brit Awards, Billboard Awards, and other accolades.
He has also dabbled in acting with roles in Game of Thrones, and the films Yesterday and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, among others.
Sheeran was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2017, receiving the honor from Prince Charles.