Yay! Boo! Yay! Boo!
Let’s cheer and jeer Ed Sheeran. Repeat rapidly until you feel like you have whiplash. That, no doubt, is how he feels as one of pop music’s most beloved and reviled superstars.
In the five years since this red-haired English troubadour made his area debut opening for Snow Patrol at Pechanga, his star has risen higher than he could have ever imagined. He returns for a Sunday solo show at Valley View Casino Center, part of his 59-date North American tour. James Blunt opens.
The most popular singer-songwriter in the world who performs without a band, Sheeran, 26, has sold out solo stadium gigs. He single-handedly boosted music sales in the United Kingdom by 10 percent over the past year.
His third and newest album, this year’s "÷,” broke a Spotify record for first-day album streams, with 56.7 million listens. As of July 5, it is this year’s top-selling album in the U.S.
Meanwhile, tickets for Sheeran’s 2018 U.K. tour have been scalped for between $1,300 and (we kid you not) $227,345. This prompted him to cancel 10,000 tickets that had been bought by scalpers. He will now require concertgoers to present four forms of I.D. to be admitted to his U.K. shows.
But Sheeran’s rise to fame has hardly been bump-free. He’s been subjected to enough online scorn to fuel a year-long series of worldwide troll conventions.
Detractors mercilessly mock his appearance, especially his red hair, and his sensitive-guy songs. Sheeran probably didn’t help matters when by comparing his recent single, “Galway Girl,” to Marmite, a thick, sticky, English food condiment made from yeast whose marketing slogan is: “Love it or hate it.”
Earlier this month, his cameo performance on the season-opening “Game of Thrones” episode fueled such a backlash he briefly took down his Twitter account. It was the time he’d done so this month.
So let’s give the last word to Sheeran.
“People either (expletive) hate me and want me to die and never make music again, or people think I’m the second coming,” he told Q magazine. “There are people who’ve never met me but have this rage about me as a human being. It’s quite daunting to have millions of people who want you to fail.”
Ed Sheeran, with James Blunt
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Valley View Casino Center, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway District
Tickets: Sold out
Phone: (888) 929-7849