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Ed Sheeran’s phenomenal success depended on hard work, a few lucky breaks, and the talents of long‑term co‑writer and producer Jake Gosling.

Few artists in recent times have experienced the kind of vertigo‑inducing rise that Ed Sheeran has enjoyed. When, in September 2011, his debut album, the symbolically titled +, entered the album chart at number one, enjoying first week sales of over 100,000 before quickly going platinum, it seemed as if the 20‑year‑old singer‑songwriter had appeared from nowhere.

But Sheeran's back story is actually one of an impressive level of dedication and dogged determination. As a teenager, inspired by Irish singer Damien Rice, he picked up a guitar and began writing songs while still at school in Framlingham, in Suffolk. As soon as he left, he hit the road, appearing at open mic nights around the country and hawking CDs out of his rucksack. In 2009 alone, as the legend now goes, he performed a staggering 312 gigs.

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