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Ed Sheeran: I will always stick up for my friend Taylor Swift

Singer Ed Sheeran has said he will always defend his close friend Taylor Swift when she receives any kind of backlash and has described her as an "anomaly".

The British singer-songwriter, who is on course to score a number one with his newly released album ÷ (Divide) this week, has also hinted he previously enjoyed romantic liaisons with some of the US pop star's friends.

Sheeran became friends with Swift several years ago and later supported her on her 2013 Red world tour.

Sheeran, 26, told Rolling Stone magazine: "She would be there if everything ended for me. Taylor is kind of an anomaly in that sense."

Of the backlash Swift has received in recent months - including around her now-defunct high-profile romance with actor Tom Hiddleston and a public feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West over the rapper's song Famous - Sheeran said she will always have to face the public's scrutiny but that he will be there for her.

He said: "She's omnipresent because she's the most famous woman in the world, so she can't make the decision to not be in the press.

"I always stick up for Taylor."

Sheeran, who appears on the front cover of the US magazine, said that Swift's "world is celebrity" and that being a part of it in his early 20s was something he did not expect.

He added: " I was this 22-year-old awkward British kid going on tour with the biggest artist in America, who has all these famous mates. It was very easy.

"I would often find myself in situations just kind of waking up and looking over and being like, 'How the f*** did that happen?' "

Swift, 27, said, of Sheeran: "We've gotten matching Scottish fold (cats), made each other arts and crafts Christmas presents, vacationed with our families, and had each other's backs.

"He is the James Taylor to my Carole King and I can't imagine a time when he wouldn't be."

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