TORONTO — Singer Ed Sheeran said Monday night at a fundraiser in New York City that rapper Eminem helped him overcome a childhood stutter.
The 24-year-old, speaking at the American Institute for Stuttering’s Freeing Voices Changing Lives Benefit Gala, said he developed a stutter during a procedure to laser off a port-wine stain birthmark on his face.
“The thing I found most difficult was knowing what to say but not really being able to express it the right way,” he said.
Sheeran said homeopathy and speech therapy were not effective — but rap music helped.
“My Uncle Jim told my dad that Eminem was the next Bob Dylan — it’s pretty similar, it’s all just storytelling — so my dad bought me The Marshall Mathers LP when I was nine years old, not knowing what was on it,” he recalled.
“I learned every word of it, back to front, by the time I was 10. He raps very fast and melodically and percussively, and it helped me get rid of the stutter.”
Sheeran told the young people in the audience to embrace their “weirdness.”
He said: “If you have quirks and weirdness, you shouldn’t be worried about that … Just be yourself, because there’s no one in the world that can be a better you than you … Be yourself. Embrace your quirks. Being weird is a wonderful thing.”
Sheeran, who also performed at the event, donated $20,000 to the institute.
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