Being a famous musician is much harder work than most people realise. Oh sure, you get paid millions to perform to audiences of adoring fans, you'll be able to date beautiful people, attend glamorous award shows, and see your face on the cover of a magazine.
But then there's the other side: the long hours spent in the recording studio getting every detail in your new LP just right, the worry about what critics will make of your latest album, and the stress that inevitably comes with being on tour for long stretches of time.
One person who appears to know all too well the value of taking a break from the exhausting industry is British musician Ed Sheeran, who this week stunned his fans by announcing at a performance that he intends to take an 18-month-long hiatus from music.
According to the Evening Standard, the 28-year-old singer-songwriter dropped the bombshell following his fourth and final homecoming show at Chantry Park in Ipswich on Monday.
Sheeran stated: "There is something very bittersweet about it. I love that you guys are here and we are ending it in Ipswich. This is my last gig for probably 18 months ... I was told before I came on that now at the end of this tour I’ve played to nine million people around the world."
He added: "It is the biggest tour ever. It’s been an emotional day for a lot of people backstage. It kind of feels like, in a weird way, that you’re breaking up with a girlfriend you’ve been with for years. It sounds off but it has been a long tour."
Sheeran later took to Instagram to post a picture of the crowd at his last performance and captioned the pic: "Can we just take a minute to remind ourselves that today is the last day of the divide era. am I crying? YES F*CKING YES. [sic]"
Indeed, it could be that Sheeran, who recently tied the knot with his childhood sweetheart Cherry Seaborn in a top-secret ceremony before Christmas, wants to spend more time with his wife. The private nuptials were held at a church close to Cherry's parents' home in Suffolk and a reception at the local village pub.
Another source close to the singer allegedly told The Sun that: "It was very quiet – just Ed’s oldest school pals, limited family and the priest. There were only 40 people – so no Taylor Swift, record company executives or any royals or pop star pals. He wanted no fuss and he wanted it to be something entirely for them – just a tiny winter wedding."
Ed, enjoy your time off: you deserve it!