Ed Sheeran — Who Once Wrote a Track on the Spot for His Label Exec — Will Be Honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame
The "Shape of You" singer will be honored alongside fellow hitmakers including Jay Z and Max Martin
Ed Sheeran is joining “The A Team.”
The “Shape of You” singer — whose new album ÷ has topped the Billboard 200 two weeks in a row — will be honored with the Hal David Starlight Award at the 2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala in N.Y.C., PEOPLE can exclusively announce.
“Ed Sheeran has accomplished so much in pop music that it is hard to believe he is only 26. He is not an overnight sensation, however, having immersed himself in songwriting, recording and performing since his early teens. His natural talent as a singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer has brought him well-deserved success,” Songwriters Hall of Fame co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff told PEOPLE in a statement.
The award, which was launched in 2004, honors young songwriters who have made an impact in the industry with their original songs. Sheeran will join an impressive roster of hitmakers who have received the award in years past, including longtime pal Taylor Swift, Nick Jonas, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Drake, Benny Blanco, John Mayer and the Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik.
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Sheeran has proven his songwriting prowess over the years, dropping a slew of hits since releasing his breakthrough LP + in 2011. And the star recently told PEOPLE he put his skills on display when he met with one of his label execs, writing one of his ÷ tracks — “What Do I Know?” — basically on the spot.
“That was a weird song because that song was written trying to peacock in front of my label head,” Sheeran told PEOPLE. “He’d come down to my house for the day, and I’d started writing that song, and in my head, I was like, ‘I want to show him how fast I can write a song.’ So that song came from just trying to write a song really quickly, to show him that I could write a song; that one’s quite a weird one.”
The singer added that he’d like to end concerts on his upcoming North American tour with that track, which preaches love, acceptance and unity.
“I really want to close shows with that one because I feel like walking away from a gig having ‘love can change the world’ in your head is a good thing,” he says.
Sheeran will be honored alongside fellow musicians Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Robert Lamm & James Pankow p/k/a “Chicago,” Max Martin and Jay Z at the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s 48th annual induction dinner on June 15 in N.Y.C.