I appeal to the uncool kids says Ed
Chart-topping star Ed Sheeran believes the secret to his success is that he appeals to young fans who feel they do not fit in.
He said both he and his pal Taylor Swift, who has become one of the biggest stars in the world, have found popular appeal because a generation of music lovers can identify with them as "outsiders".
In an interview with Q magazine Sheeran also suggested that his musical gift is to make up for a tough start in life which saw him battling with a number of health problems.
The star, who recently announced plans to headline Wembley Stadium with just his guitar and an effects pedal, said he and Swift appealed to the same sort of people.
"We were both the uncool kids. Our fanbase is exactly the same," said the musician, who recently topped the charts with second album X.
"If you look at any big pop person, the girls are there, or the boys all dressed up, hair done properly. Whereas our gigs, we attract the outsiders, they relate to us the most. I get kids turning up to my shows on their own. I was never a lone wolf, I'm a sociable guy, but I've always done my own thing. We're all outsiders who found solace in music."
In the magazine, which comes out this week, Sheeran talked about some of the setbacks he had as a child.
"I was a weird little ginger kid, with a stutter, big NHS specs and no ear drum," he said.
The A Team singer had a perforated eardrum which was not replaced until he was 11, he had a large birth mark on his face which was later removed using laser surgery and he had a detached retina which had the knock-on effect of giving him a "lazy eye". He also suffered nerve damage as a child during an operation which led to a stutter, which was cured with therapy.
Sheeran reflected: "I wasn't exactly normal and I've come out of it on top. My view on it is God looked down one day and was like 'f***ing hell, you need some help mate, here's a guitar'."