Ed Sheeran has revealed his wife was diagnosed with a tumour while pregnant with their second child.
The Shape Of You singer described how Cherry Seaborn, who he married in 2019, was told by doctors she had a tumour while she was expecting the couple's second child, who was born in May 2022, “with no route to treatment until after the birth”.
Sheeran went on to discuss the impact the diagnosis had on his wellbeing, describing how he "spiralled through fear, depression and anxiety” last year following the news, and that of the death of his close friend Jamal Edwards.
Music entrepreneur Edwards, who was awarded an MBE for his services to music in 2014, died on February 20 last year at the age of 31.
In a statement announcing his new album, called - , the mathematical symbol for Subtract, which is due to be released on 5 May, Sheeran said the songs had been influenced by the difficult events he'd faced.
“I had been working on Subtract for a decade, trying to sculpt the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear vision of what I thought it should be," he said.
"Then at the start of 2022, a series of events changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art."
The Bad Habits singer said to get through those experiences he used songwriting as his “therapy” and to help him “make sense” of his feelings.
"I wrote without thought of what the songs would be, I just wrote whatever tumbled out," he explained. "And in just over a week, I replaced a decade’s worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts.
“Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumour, with no route to treatment until after the birth," Sheeran continued.
"My best friend Jamal, a brother to me, died suddenly and I found myself standing in court defending my integrity and career as a songwriter. I was spiralling through fear, depression and anxiety."
Watch: Ed Sheeran reacts to tweet about new album
Unsurprisingly, the events took their toll on Sheeran's emotional wellbeing.
“I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air," he explained.
But his real life experiences also influenced his music, with Sheeran explaining he did not feel he could release an album that did not “accurately represent” his current situation and the challenges he has faced.
“As an artist, I didn’t feel like I could credibly put a body of work into the world that didn’t accurately represent where I am and how I need to express myself at this point in my life," he said.
"This album is purely that. It’s opening the trapdoor into my soul. For the first time I’m not trying to craft an album people will like, I’m merely putting something out that’s honest and true to where I am in my adult life.
"This is last February’s diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is Subtract.”
Last month, Sheeran revealed he had returned to social media after hinting that he had been struggling through "turbulent times" in his personal life.
"I realise I haven't been that engaged in my social media or fanbase over the last couple of years and the things that have been posted on this account might have got a bit boring, I'm sorry, that's my fault," he said in a video message.
"The reason I'm making this video, just being totally honest, I've had some turbulent things happening in my personal life so I just didn't really feel like being online and pretending to be something I'm not when I wasn't really feeling like that.
"I know that sounds weird, but hence I'm making this video to say things are looking up and I'm back online."
Sheeran announced in December 2019 he announced he was taking a break after two years of "non-stop" touring.
In April last year, Sheeran won a high court battle after two songwriters claimed his 2017 hit Shape Of You infringed copyright of their song Oh Why.
The singer later spoke of the mental strain the case caused him.
Additional reporting PA.