Tell us how you really feel, Ed Sheeran.
The English singer-songwriter didn’t mince his words about his disdain for US award shows in an interview following the 2021 MTV VMAs where he performed this weekend.
“The room is filled with resentment and hatred toward everyone else and it’s quite an uncomfortable atmosphere,” the 30-year-old said in a Tuesday interview with radio host Julia on her Audacy segment “The Julia Show.”
The problem isn’t his fellow entertainers being toxic, he clarified, but the competitive energy wrought by their groupies and the context.
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“All the artists are sweet people, but they’re, like, surrounded by entourages that want them to win, too, so it’s one artist surrounded by 10 people and another artist surrounded by 10 people and everyone is kind of giving each other the side-eye,” Sheeran went on.
The VMAs are not uniquely miserable, he added, noting that the aggressive overtones shadow virtually all well-known American entertainment awards.
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“It’s nothing to do with MTV or the award show, it’s at all the other awards shows,” too, he said, before naming the Grammys, AMAs and Billboards. “It’s just lots of people wanting other people to fail and I don’t like that.”
He explained that Brits are much less intense when it comes to handing out top honors, significantly because everyone gets sloshed at UK shows.
“In England, our award shows are just like everyone gets drunk and no one really cares who wins or loses, it’s just sort of a good night out,” said Sheeran, who has won over 117 awards — including four Grammys and one American Music Award — in the course of his career.
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For the same reasons, after-parties aren’t much better.
“The after-parties, again … it’s not just musicians. It’s musicians, all their entourages, then you got influencers and blah blah blah,” he said.
Talking with colleagues has proved to him he’s not alone in feeling upset by US awards show culture.
“People get the same feeling as me at those award shows,” he said. “I’ve spoken to people and they’re like, ‘I just felt really depressed afterward.’ The atmosphere is just not nice m… It’s a really, really horrible atmosphere to be in there. I always walk away feeling sad and I don’t like it.”