Ed Sheeran

When he broke out onto the music scene, Ed Sheeran became the face of a new kind of singer-songwriter, culling inspiration from other people's stories, and marrying acoustic guitar sounds and backing vocals with hip-hop and R&B rhythms. Born into a musical and artistic family, Sheeran took his childhood dream of making music and turned it into a reality by releasing independent EPs when he was still in his teens. In 2010, after just a few years of playing gigs and building up a fan base in his native England, Sheeran relocated to Los Angeles, to introduce his music, which he described as "acoustic-soul," to a wider audience. Almost overnight, Sheeran had become one of the most sought-after new artists in America, collaborating with music legends like Elton John and headlining for chart-topping artists like Taylor Swift. Radio stations all over America were suddenly giving massive airplay to his breakthrough hit single "The A Team" from his debut studio album +. A commercial and critical success, the album showcased Sheeran's singular sound and thought-provoking lyrics, and marked his entry as one of the industry's most innovative and exciting artists.