Ed Sheeran Is Already Planning a Posthumous Album: I'll 'Have It in My Will'

"I want to slowly make this album that is quote-unquote 'perfect' for the rest of my life, adding songs here and there," he revealed

Ed Sheeran Rolling Stone
Ed Sheeran. Photo: Liz Collins

Ed Sheeran is thinking out loud about what his musical output will look like when he's no longer alive.

The "Shape of You" singer, 32, revealed in a new interview with Rolling Stone that he's already planning for an album to release after his death.

"I want to slowly make this album that is quote-unquote 'perfect' for the rest of my life, adding songs here and there," Sheeran told the outlet. "And just have it in my will that after I die, it comes out."

The posthumous release, Sheeran shared, will be the final project in another five-album series of projects titled after symbols — like his current mathematical titles. And while he didn't reveal much else about it, he's already juggling a few musical projects at the moment.

Ed Sheeran Rolling Stone
Ed Sheeran. Liz Collins

Fans are currently counting down the days until the release of his May effort - (or Subtract), but he's also pulled out a few songs from those sessions for another project with collaborator Aaron Dessner. "It was very quickly seen that we were making two different things," Sheeran said.

The "entirely separate second album," as Rolling Stone described it, was manned by Sheeran and Dessner and he's unsure of a release date, though it's being mixed now. "I have no goals for the record," he said. "I just want to put it out."

Posthumous releases certainly aren't anything new, as this decade alone, fans have seen releases from artists like Mac Miller, Juice Wrld, Pop Smoke, Eddie Money and DMX shortly after their deaths.

Still, some musicians are entirely against the concept of releasing music after they die. Anderson .Paak showed off a then-new tattoo back in 2021, which specifically gives his estate instructions on what to do with his unreleased music when he's no longer alive. The tattoo — which appears below an image of Animal, the Muppet, playing the drums — was shared to .Paak's Instagram Story.

"When I'm gone," it reads, "please don't release any posthumous albums or songs with my name attached. Those were just demos and never intended to be heard by the public."

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As for Sheeran, his latest LP features input from his new collaborator Aaron Dessner, 46, who he revealed on Instagram was someone he met through longtime friend Taylor Swift. The musician notably worked with Swift on her LPs folklore and evermore.

"So in 2021, I got a message from @taylorswift to link me up with @aarondessner. She thought he and I would make something great together," Sheeran revealed in an Instagram caption. "I have to be honest I was a bit reticent to work with him that soon after folklore and evermore because I felt that was Taylor's thing and they had both been done so perfectly. But we met for dinner, chatted about life and music, and he promised to send me some instrumentals for me to write over whenever inspiration hit."

The National's Dessner earned an album of the year Grammy win with Swift for their work on folklore in 2021, and he's since formed a creative bond with Sheeran, too. As the musician writes, Dessner provided him with some instrumentals that he "loved the whole overall vibe of," but didn't feel they matched up with what his new album was set to be, at least at the time.

"Then, as I said in my announcement post, a lot of things started happening in my personal life that I just felt the need to vent about on song and write diaristically about them," Sheeran wrote. "I had Aarons' instrumentals, so just started writing, and writing, and writing. He flew over to the UK and we recorded it in a week by the seaside, and it's just been the most incredible process, and an album I'm so bloody proud of."

"Thanks to Aaron and Jon for the insane amount of hard work and dedication you put into this project, and bringing out a side of me I had put on mute for so long," he continued. "And of course, thanks to Swizzle, as always, you rock x"

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