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Ed Sheeran has revealed his wife Cherry Seaborn was diagnosed with a tumour while she was pregnant with their second child.
The Shape of You singer announced on Wednesday that his fifth album, -, pronounced subtract, will be released on 5 May.
In the announcement, he revealed that he had been creating hundreds of songs for the acoustic album for a decade but replaced them all in just over a week after a series of devastating events around February 2022.
In addition to Cherry's health diagnosis, Ed also faced the death of his close friend Jamal Edwards and a copyright infringement trial.
"Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumour, with no route to treatment until after the birth. 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," he explained. "I was spiralling through fear, depression and anxiety. I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air."
The 32-year-old turned to songwriting as a form of therapy as it helped him make sense of his feelings during that difficult time. As a result, Ed has produced a 14-track album which contains his "deepest darkest thoughts".
"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 continued. "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."
The upcoming release, which concludes his five-album mathematics era, features tracks titled Eyes Closed, Life Goes On, Dusty, End Of Youth, Curtains, No Strings and The Hills of Aberfeldy.
Ed and Cherry welcomed their second daughter in May 2022. He won the copyright infringement trial in April of that year.