In a nod to the backlash, Sheeran reposted an article on his Instagram story titled, “People Are Angry Ed Sheeran Wore a Shirt while Beyoncé Wore Couture During their Global Citizen Performance.”
While performing together for the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday, fans were quick to criticize Sheeran’s choice to pair a black t-shirt and sneakers on stage, while Beyonce, 37, opted for an extravagant pink gown with ruffles.
“Swipe up to ‘get the look,” he wrote alongside the cheeky hashtag, “#dresstoimpress.”
As he acknowledged the clashing looks, he joked about where to find more of his “amazing fashion choices.”
The controversy sparked hilarious memes of the pair during the performance and a real conversation about male privilege.
“Ed Sheeran is a 27-year-old man the fact we’ve enabled him to feel it’s ok to dress like this at all, let alone next to Beyoncé really boils my piss,” wrote one Twitter user.
Another pointed to the disparity of gender expectations in the music industry saying, “This photo is v v v v representative of what we expect from men and women at the top of their game, isn’t it?”
As Twitter debated his wardrobe choice, many Sheeran fans pointed to the fact that he regularly performs in similar looks on stage.
Others Photoshopped more elevated looks on the “Happier” singer.
While Sheeran seems to be taking the controversy lightly, he has been targeted by online bullies in the past.
“I’ve actually come off Twitter completely. I can’t read it. I go on it and there’s nothing but people saying mean things. Twitter’s a platform for that,” he told The Sun in 2017 after stepping away from social media. “One comment ruins your day. But that’s why I’ve come off it.”
JAY-Z was showered with birthday love as his wife Beyoncé, led partygoers in a sing-along of “Happy Birthday.”
In a video shared by South African DJ and musician Black Coffee, Queen Bey can be seen on the mic serenading her husband along with their friends as a cake with candles is presented.
Among the many who wished JAY-Z a happy birthday, his mother-in-law Tina Knowles shared a sweet tribute on Instagram. “A very Happy Birthday to my amazingly talented, super smart, gracious, classy, filled with swag son-in-law,” the grandmother of Blue Ivy, Rumi and Sir began.
“I have witnessed your loyalty to all of your friends, some from childhood if only we all could be so supportive of our friends and share a mutual love and respect for each other like you and your amazing friends,” Knowles continued, along with a red heart emoji.
“You have done so much for our culture, thank you for that! I could not be more happy to have you in my family and could not be more happy to be in yours,” she said, acknowledging Carter matriarchs Gloria and Grandma Hattie by telling them “you did great.”
The Global Citizen’s 2018 “Mandela 100” campaign raises funds to aid in issues associated with extreme poverty, gender equality, food security, education, the environment and global health.