Elton John doesn’t perform with just anyone. So when he took the stage at Sunday night’s Grammys with folkie Brit Ed Sheeran to duet on the newcomer’s Grammy nominated hit “The A Team,” it was a moment to remember.
Here are five things to know about the 21-year-old folk singer, whose debut, +, has sold over two million copies worldwide.
1. He’s penned tracks for both Taylor Swift and One Direction
Sheeran cowrote “Everything Has Changed,” off of Taylor Swift‘s latest album Red. “It was fate,” he says of how he and Swift, 23, connected. The two musicians, who were fans of each other’s work, “just started hanging out,” says Sheeran. He also cowrote One Direction’s hit “Little Things.” Who’s his favorite 1D member? Harry Styles, who was his pal prior to the boy band hitting it big.
2. He digs his red hair
“It makes me individual and makes me stand out,” he says. “It would be foolish to change it.” And he’s in good company with fellow musicians like Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine also sporting red tresses. “There are more redheads in pop than you think!”
3. He has a big crush on another (occasional) redhead
Though he jokes about wishing he could have taken Eva Longoria as his date to the Grammys, Sheeran says he really holds a candle for actress Emma Stone. “But she’s all kinds of taken now so I need to find someone else,” he chuckles. Could he find love with pal Swift? “I don’t know if I’m her type,” he says of the singer he’s opening for on her upcoming Red Tour.
4. He can deliver one heck of a rhyme
Influenced by Eminem, the guitar player swiftly raps “Like everything I say seems to always sound awkward/Like our last kiss it was perfect, we were nervous/On the surface” on his tune “U.N.I.” “I was brought up on Bob Dylan and Van Morrison,” he says. “Nowadays I listen to [rapper] Kendrick Lamar.”
5. He’s a loyal customer
There’s one dish he can’t wait to sit down and devour whenever he travels back to England. “The Portuguese chicken at a restaurant called Nando’s,” says Sheeran. “That’s the sh–!”