Ed Sheeran says he wouldn't have a career without Jamal Edwards.
The 'Shape of You' hitmaker paid tribute to the late entrepreneur - who also helped launch the careers of the likes of Jessie J and Dave after setting up his music platform SBTV in 2006 - as he performed at a memorial concert this week following Jamal's tragic death aged 31 in February.
On Tuesday (20.09.22), Ed performed at the Outernet in London for the inaugural fundraiser for The Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust, and said: "He was just all about finding people and showing people new opportunities, at a time where the industry was mostly based in London.
"My manager, my record label, saw me first on SBTV. I really don't think I would have been allowed through certain doors if it hadn't been for Jamal putting his arm around me."
The gala was hosted by Terry Crews, with Ed headlining a stacked lineup featuring Jessie Ware, Fireboy DML, Queen Millz, Max Cyrus and Roman Kemp, plus a surprise appearance from Lewis Capaldi.
A live auction raised over £105,000 for the trust, with prizes including an exclusive, private tour of Abbey Road Studios, a signed David Beckham Inter Miami FC shirt, and press pass access to London Fashion Week 2023.
During the auction, Ed was outbid at £18,000 for a meal for two with Idris Elba at Portre Noire in London's King's Cross.
However, the signed acetate of the singer's upcoming new album was the top prize for the night, with Grammy Award-winner Eve bagging it for £35,000.
'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' actor Terry donated £12,000 of his own money and urged people to "dig deep".
Paying tribute to Jamal, he reflected: "I first met Jamal in 2014 on a press tour. I probably met 50-60 media outlets, and this young man named Jamal came through, and I'd never been more impressed.
"I said 'Dude, whatever you're doing, I want to be a part of it. I don't care what it is.'
"He took me to his mum's place at Christmas, he was my little brother. We were kindred spirits, always talking about the future, making things better.
"I was devastated, and I made it my mission to continue his work."
Before Ed took to the stage, Jamal's sister Tanisha Artman added: "It's been very difficult but we're continuing Jamal's work through the trust.
"This next act is incredibly special to us, he is family. We know that being here means as much to him as it does to us."