Kevin Mazur/WireImage
March 31, 2017 05:05 PM

This article originally appeared on NME.com.

Elton John has spoken of his admiration for Ed Sheeran in a new interview, also revealing that he warned the singer to watch his weight.

John has been instrumental in Sheeran’s career, acting as a mentor as well as running Sheeran’s management company Rocket. The pair also performed together live at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

Speaking to Rolling Stone recently, Elton revealed that he had encouraged Sheeran’s plan to take a break from music last year.

“He was so omnipresent I said, ‘Ed, even I’m sick of you. Go away.’ And he did. He just went to the Far East with his girlfriend, had a great time, put on a lot of weight, ate food and came back.”

John added: “One thing I said to him when he went, I said, ‘Don’t put on weight,’ because he’s very prone to put on weight like I am. And he came back heavy, but he lost it all for the album. He just went away and had a great time.”

“It was the most brilliant thing he could have done, because it refreshes your soul – not that I ever did it. I’m not one for going to the Far East and walking around with a backpack on; I just find that not my cup of tea. I’m too much involved with other things.”

Elton went on to say: “He reminds me of me when I first started out; his enthusiasm and his love. He’s always doing something, whether he’s writing his own stuff or he’s writing with other people.”

“This is why I wanted to start a management company, to say to these kids, \I’ve been here. You need to do this. I can help you because I am who I am,’ and he’s been forever grateful. You know, I love him to death.”

Sheeran recently joked that he might get a tattoo of Elton John on his behind.

Asked in February whether he would rather have a rear tattoo of Taylor Swift or Elton, Sheeran replied: “I reckon Elton’s face because he’s always asking me to sit on it. He f—ing does; I’m not even joking.”

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Recently speaking about his friendship with Elton John, Sheeran said: “There are lots of pinch-me moments in my career, and I think the way you don’t turn yourself insane is to just roll with them and don’t think about them too much. But, obviously, it’s weird being able to call Elton a friend.”

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