Ed Sheeran admits ‘Don’t’ is about a girlfriend poacher from One Direction

A few weeks ago, I spoke about Ed Sheeran’s “Don’t”, which is a classic burn song in the tradition of Taylor Swift. Ed offers off up lyrics about a fellow entertainer who ate pizza and drank gin in his hotel room. Presumably, Ed slept with this woman. Then he was all heartbroken when she slept with some other dude (who wasn’t “a threat” at all) on their hotel floor. Ed sang about how he never wanted “a promise or commitment,” but “I thought you were different.” I joked that the girl could have been Rita Ora because she was the subject of so many rumors. Most people think the girl in the song is Ellie Goulding.

Who is the dude that Ed’s singing about? A lot of people believe that Niall Horan “stole” Ellie away from Ed. Howard Stern recently grilled Ed about the song’s origins. Ed seems very bitter about the bro code, but he worked it out. He also addresses his galpal Taylor Swift and ongoing feud with Miley Cyrus:

Was it a One Direction guy? “Well, it depends which one you’re talking about. The papers says a lot of things. I have kept my mouth shut about a lot of things. I think if you add any fuel to any fire …”

Stern asks about bitterness: “I didn’t really come out of that situation upset. I was just p-ssed off. I just thought it was a bit disrespectful.”

He wasn’t in love with the girl: “I got over it as soon as the song was done and the song happened pretty soon after.”

Ed confronted the guy: “It’s a difficult conversation to have… He was my mate, so I was just a bit like, ‘um not cool, but …'”

He was drunk when he insulted Miley Cyrus: “For some reason my publicist was like, ‘you should do this red carpet,’ and I just had a bit of a rant which I didn’t really mean. I woke up the next morning and got this anxiety thing. I said [something] along the lines of, ‘Your voice is amazing, your songs are amazing, just stop twerking.’ I didn’t say it in the nicest way and I do genuinely love her music and think her voice is great.”

Howard tells Ed to apologize to Miley: “I don’t really know what to do. I’ll find a way to [apologise].”

His friendship with Taylor Swift: “I think there are many reasons why that didn’t and hasn’t happened, [our] main one is professional. I’m on tour with her, I’ve done songs with her, why would you want to affect that? I was also involved with someone else at the time, so there was that. [We’re just] platonic friends. It’s not a romantic situation.”

[From Free On Smash]

The feud with Miley is all too real. When Ed collected an award at the 2014 VMAs, he gave triumphant high fives to the entire front row … all except Miley, who called Ed an “a-hole as he passed by her seat. Ed’s entitled to his opinion about Miley, but if he was simply drunk when he dissed her twerking, then he should apologize. Miley doesn’t care either way, but Ed talked about it in an interview. He may as well eat dirt and make nice.

As for Ed’s revelation about the “Don’t” origins, I can see why his ego is bruised. Ed was passed over for a random 1D member and not even the one with the pretty hair. Ed still acted juvenile about the incident. He privately confronted his friend but wrote a smear song about the girl. Rude.

Niall Horan

Ed Sheeran

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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80 Responses to “Ed Sheeran admits ‘Don’t’ is about a girlfriend poacher from One Direction”

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  1. maybeiamcrazy says:

    Please don’t tell me we have a male Taylor Swift in our hands. 🙁

    • Adrien says:

      Ed Sheeran is the Jason Mraz of this generation.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Well the upside with that comparison is that he’ll probably be a distant memory in another three years…

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Ooouch, burn! I went to a Mraz concert just the other day (free tix through a friend), and it was a pleasant experience. Not my thing, but it wasn’t terrible.

    • lunchcoma says:

      He’s totally the male Taylor Swift – they’re even good friends.

      • Binky says:

        He comes across as pretty arrogant and presumptuous – like, I could have Taylor if it weren’t for work…

  2. original kay says:

    agree with him about Miley though.

    • Tifygodess24 says:

      Exactly and what’s wrong with saying she should stop twerking ? She should , she can’t dance and the whole Miley trying to be hardcore is such an act that reeks of desperation. She just comes off cheap and gross. I mean of all things to need to apologize for this isn’t one of them.

      • jwoolman says:

        Lots of people are telling her to stop twerking. He didn’t say anything awful, he said he really likes her voice and her music. Miley was way out of line in her response. She wants to prove she’s grown up, and one way to prove it is to take criticism in stride and don’t get all junior high about it. As opposed to her current approach of taking her clothes off, which isn’t actually proof of adulthood. Toddlers run around naked.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        True but toddlers get told “no” more often then Miley so, you know, they learn to handle it. I think that any person that says “no” to Miley is just an A**hole in her book.
        “So see there Sheeran, Cheyne is adding your just beneath Liam Hemsworth in my burn book, you A**hole” , says Miley while rebelliously smoking a blunt while covered in body glitter/faux fur/Disney pasties, and sticking out her tongue for the seven hundredth “selfie” of the week.

      • Bridget says:

        Who is he to tell her to stop doing anything? She’s an adult, she has a team of people working for her and advising her. Do you particularly like people coming up and giving you unasked for advice?

      • Tulip Garden says:

        He and everyone else has opinions and the right to voice them….even if, in his case, it might not have been the best idea to talk to the media about it. And, yes, she is an adult but, also, an extremely public person. She adores being the subject of attention/controversy. I suppose she, and no one, appreciates unsolicited advice but it doesn’t make the advice inaccurate. IMO, he was/is spot on about the twerking. I, too, think it just detracts from her actual talent.
        Most everyone gets unasked for advice particularly when it comes to work colleagues. No one is bound to take it but it is, sometimes, smart to evaluate it for what it is worth particularly if you get the same advice repeatedly.
        All that said, she can twerk, post selfies, and attempt to shock and awe to her heart’s content.

      • Bridget says:

        @Tulip: we all have the right to form our own opinion, but that doesn’t make it necessary or appropriate to share it. ESPECIALLY in a professional situation – and this isn’t ‘you may want to think about using a bolder font’ kind of criticism. Ed wasn’t giving his opinion as a fan to a public figure, he was giving it as a peer.

      • Mel M says:

        Totally agree and if he meant it he needs to grow some cajonès and stick by his statement, is he afraid of her or something?

      • Lauren says:

        The entire universe wants Miley to stop twerking. Ed is trying to spare all of us from further hillbilly twerking torture.
        Ed is a brilliant songwriter and musician. I understand his feelings of betrayal.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        I agree that giving an opinion isn’t always the right thing to do. I believe in this post, Sheeran is acknowledging that he shouldn’t have said what he did about Miley to the media. So I guess, he agrees with you.
        I have a hard time getting worked up about someone critiquing a performer particularly when, for the most part, he was complimenting her. Also, in her case, don’t you think that the whole MTV “performance”, which is stretching the meaning of that word, and most of her subsequent behavior has been carefully planned to make people comment/talk about/clutch pearls over? Why shouldn’t that include Sheeran and/or other entertainers? I think you were on the money when you said she has advisors. I just think they are doing her a disservice or else she is perpetrating this “image” all on her own.

        @Mel M,
        I think he is probably a nice guy that meant what he said but regrets having said it publically. If that’s the case, he should apologize. It wouldn’t mean he is without cojones unless you can only keep those by refusing to apologize when you feel that you are in the wrong. JMO

      • FLORC says:

        I agree with all except this. I don’t think Miley is trying to prove she’s an adult, mature, or grown up at all. She’s trying to prove she’s not trendy. She’s an original punk of sorts. She has yet to realize she’s no trailblazer. Just very angsty without proper guidance from her parents.

        Reagarding unsolicited advice. This is so common and expected. There might be stuff behind the scenes we’re not aware of that lead Ed to say what he did.
        Miley is surrounded by yes men/woman/sycophants. If anyone gives her criticism she’s not ready to hear they could lose their job.
        Everyone everywhere has someone offering unsolicited advice. You can’t control what others have to say. The best way to handle it is to either ignore it or address it in a calm, polite, and thankful manner even if you’re upset at what the other said. Miley’s response shows her immaturity.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        Very well said 🙂

      • Bridget says:

        Not to get all Jezebel here, but what really gets me is the fact that I may not be particularly entertained by Miley’s choices, but it’s her body and she gets to choose what she does with it and what she puts on it.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        It is her body and her choice. I wouldn’t have it any other way for ANY of us however, criticism/critique and the right to it are equally important. If it were not, we women wouldn’t have come as far as we have.

  3. Hannah says:

    I think he is really talented. But he is turning into the male Taylor swift. Not a cool look.

  4. minime says:

    I don’t know any of his songs and therefore also not this specific one, but is it really rude to sing about something that actually happened (and if so, was pretty lame to say the least), when he doesn’t even mention the name of the person involved?

    • Erinn says:

      Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t think he was incredibly rough with the song. He mentions that she was staying at his place and stuff, and clearly they were sleeping together judging by the lyrics. It probably would be a surprise to find out that she is literally down the hall with the other guy. I think it was more of a “I never told you I wanted a promise or a commitment, but it was still surprising, and kind of hurtful that you went and slept with my mate down the hall”.

    • Kate says:

      There’s a way to write a song about something like this without making it so identifiable. A lot of Sheeran and 1D fans instantly knew exactly what the lyrics referenced, so he may as well have used names.

      If he’d left out the bit about the same floor at the same hotel, suddenly it’s a lot less clear.

      • Farah says:

        And the line “Those shows never been what it’s about / but maybe we’ll got together and figure it out”. It clearly references the VMAS. Ellie was very NHF Ed’s affections that night. And very cozy with Niall.

    • Tulip Garden says:

      This is not a comment particularly about Sheeran but about songwriters/singers in general. I wonder how possible it is in today’s media to write your song, presumably, about your life, experiences, feelings etc. and not have people identify who you wrote it about even if you don’t “name names”. It just seems that songwriter (good songwriting, anyway) is so often experienced-based that it would be hard to say, “well, don’t write about heartache ’cause thanks to the paps everyone will know who it is about” or “don’t write about feeling lonely ’cause public perception is that you are happy, dating, never Lonely” or “don’t write about being in love with the feeling of being in love because everyone will think it is about XYZ person.
      I don’t know if this comment makes sense. It is just that societal “following” of celebrities as far as romantic relationships, friendships, or even frenemies is so prevalent that it would seem to be hard to write anything that people don’t attach some meaning to vis-à-vis another person even if that presumption is inaccurate.
      Not that some, Swift and Beyoncé, to name two haven’t used this for promotion but others, like Adele, just write it and the rest as far as speculation follows.
      I don’t know, I guess I’d have to be careful who I shade for writing about their life unless they make it a point to name names or encourage the guessing game. That is something which I think, and always thought, Swift would regret once she matured a bit.

      • minime says:

        You make a lot of sense and I agree. I guess that when you write your own songs its kinda of impossible to not project your own life in there. So maybe in this specific case he was too explicit (I don’t know, as I said I don’t know anything about it), but as long it’s not completely clear I can totally understand and it can make the most awesome songs anyway (like Adele!!)

      • Rhiannionkk says:

        Fleetwood Mac, rumors, the whole album is identifiable, and perfect.

  5. MediaD says:

    I think he needs to ditch that comb-over (comb-forward?).

  6. Mrs. Lecter says:

    If Miley didn’t care why did she bother calling him an a-hole? We all know Miley cares about everything that is said about her. That’s pretty obvious.

    That being said, I thought this song was about Ellie Goulding as well.

    I don’t care for eds music and I have seen him on English quiz shows and haven’t been impressed… He seems like a creep. Just my 2c.

  7. Greyson says:

    So, the girl was NOT committed to him. They were just hanging out and hooked up, yet he got butt hurt about it enough to write a smear song about it? Entitled much?

    Let’s be real, this guy is not attractive in the slightest. He wouldn’t have had “hooked up” with that girl or the current one he has now if it was for his music success and having famous friends! He is the guy who gets friendzoned in real life by the beautiful girls he hangs out with!

    It’s crappy for his friend to hook up behind his back with the same guy, but he doesn’t own her! She wasn’t his girlfriend. If it’s casual, then both people can be casual with someone else. He’s the immature one here.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I agree except she was staying at his house, apparently. If I was having a guy staying with and sleeping with me and he snuck off and slept with my roommate during the same visit, I would be annoyed.

      • Erinn says:

        And adding, that it doesn’t speak of great levels of maturity to say that the guy was being immature after going on about his appearance.

      • maybeiamcrazy says:

        I agree. And we don’t know if they were commited or not.

    • snowflake says:

      well, any way you look at it, it’s skeevy to sleep with your lover’s friend. i think if it was a girl being upset about it, (her hookup hooked up with her friend), we’d be supporting her. just b/c he’s a guy doesn’t mean he didn’t develop feelings for her while they were sleeping together. and it’s not like girlfriend couldn’t find d*ck somewhere else. sounds like she’s a starfucker to me and ed liked her

    • Bridget says:

      The implication of the wording isn’t that they weren’t “together” rather that they were both touring artists and recognized that it was unfair to demand promises or commitments that the other may not be able to keep, but that when they were able to be together they were “together”.

    • Jay says:

      I agree he isn’t very physically attractive, but you make him sound like the elephant man. And who’s to say he isn’t funny or charming or witty or intelligent or one of a thousand different qualities that can make a beautiful girl like a not-so-attractive guy? You sound like you have the depth of a bath tub…

      • Mrs. A says:

        He comes from where I live, the guy was an arsehole in high-school, I have no doubt he still is. He was always very full of himself. However I have to give credit that he is a talented singer meh!

      • Jay says:

        @ Mrs. A — boooo don’t say ain’t so 🙁 I really like his music

    • lunchcoma says:

      To me it sounds like they both bore some of the fault. It’s pretty clear even from the song that he liked her in more than a casual, friends with benefits way, and I think it was foolish of him to get involved with her without clarifying that. On her side of things, even if you’re not in a monogamous relationship with someone, it’s really insensitive to hook up with someone’s friend while they’re right there and then come crying to them right after because you feel guilty about it.

      As for his looks, Sheeran isn’t super conventionally attractive, but he becomes fairly appealing when he’s talking or singing. Like a lot of famous people, he has a lot of charisma.

  8. Kate says:

    I see why he get’s along with Taylor Swift. If they ever did date the break-up albums would be epic.

  9. Anna says:

    I think Ed is changing his story now because of what happened between Niall and Ellie but at the time it was pretty clear to everyone that Ed and Ellie were legit dating and people assumed that they were exclusive. I think he has every right to be upset because him and Niall were extremely close when this happened. I don’t think his “ego is bruised” because it was with someone in 1D though (since it’s being implied that that’s something to be embarrassed about). It doesn’t really make sense for him to feel that way since he clearly respects 1D as artists and a lot of celebs like Niall and hang out with him..

  10. Farah says:

    This song bothers me. Ed sounds so entitled. It would be one thing, if the song dissed his friend, Niall, but the song is so slut shame-y. “It’s not like we were both on tour / We were staying at the same hotel floor” so it’s fine for him to fuck randoms throughout his summer tour (plenty of proof), but she’s no allowed to be with anyone. The song also clearly state they weren’t exclusive. They slept together sometimes with months apart.

    If I had the choice between Niall and Ed. I’d pick Niall. Honestly Harry who? Niall is such a Mr. Steal Your Girl. This is like the third time he’s been with his friend’s girl.

    • Greyson says:

      ^^ This!!

      Why not write about his friend’s betrayal if he wasn’t invested with this girl as he claims?

      If he’s sleeping with randoms, he has no right to feel possessive about a casual sex partner. It sounded like they were loose FWB, so her staying over at his place in that context happens all the time.

    • maybeiamcrazy says:

      First of all, the lines you wrote does not only apply to him. And even if they had a open relationship, it does nor fenerally aleeping with a friend OK. Maybe they allowed each other to sleep with randoms, but a friend is a ptoblem.

    • Easi says:

      Who else has Niall hooked up with? Please don’t make me google this. I can’t go on fan sights because I did that once and got lost in weird theories about 1d

      • Lauren says:

        Niall apparently stole Louise Thompson from Andy Jordan. Thompson and Jordan are both stars on Made in Chelsea. There was an episode when Jordan was trying to get ahold of Louise but she was unreachable for many hours. Word got back to Andy that Louise was at some house party in the country and cheated on him during those unreachable hours. A whole bunch of papers apparently confirmed that the guy Louise cheated on Andy with was Niall Horan.

    • lunchcoma says:

      I think it was tacky of him to call her out in such a specific way, but being in a non-exclusive relationship doesn’t mean that you have to be okay with anyone they might choose. Most people in that situation would consider family off limits, for instance, and a lot of people might prefer it not be friends. It sounds like they’re both very immature and didn’t communicate about what was okay and what wasn’t.

  11. littlemissnaughty says:

    Yes, take the high road, Ed.

    These people baffle me. I know he and Swifty are still pretty young but not THAT young. Their songs sound like my diary ca. 1999 and I was 15 at time. If you’re dating you realize by the time you’re 19/20 that sh*t happens and it’s always best to stay classy. You NEVER regret the high road. How juvenile. Especially when they turn around and then want privacy.

  12. Easi says:

    She looks older than them. Eds probably never gotten girls before fame.

    • Greyson says:

      Yep. He’s not attractive. His fame/success is to a certain type of girl (hint: they’re not very loyal since it’s not “love” that motivates them!)

      • Aussie girl says:

        Yes he is not the best to look at. ( in a chipper voice) I’m sure he has a fantastic personality.

  13. Aussie girl says:

    I quite liked the song before it went into over kill on the radio. I just don’t understand how people think singers shouldn’t sing about there relationships or lives. There singers that’s what or where they get inspiration from. I know a lot of people think they are burn songs & it’s rather rude and perhaps it is. Maybe I would understand it better if someone wrote a burn song about me. Lol

  14. danielle says:

    The song is pretty catchy that’s all I’ve got.

  15. Ninja, please says:

    Bland white flyover states slop for music

  16. Veronica says:

    I used to think of Florida Georgia Line as country’s male Taylor Swift, so I guess Shareen can be the pop version. I can’t handle his newest music anyway because it has a sensual, JT-esque vibe to it that creates some serious cognitive dissonance when I remember how unsexy he really is.

  17. someone says:

    In our house Niall is much more popular than Harry (the one with the pretty hair lol)! My daughter is crazy crazy crazy for Niall. She likes Ed Sheeran too but Niall is #1. However, as much as she loves 1D she’d admit Ed Sheeran is much more talented and a better musician.

    • Charlie says:

      My little sister also liked Niall best, although 1D have now been dethroned by the new sensation, 5 Seconds of Summer. At least these guys play instruments, so it seems like an improvement.

      • Erinn says:

        I heard a 5SOS song on the radio, as well as a cover of Blinks I Miss You. While I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to them, they’re catchy, and while I don’t think I’d like any non-Mark Hoppus version of a Blink song, it wasn’t awful.

      • Nina says:

        More like 5 Seconds of Spotlight-That-One-Time. 1D are #1 in 50 countries with their new album that’s not even out yet and while I’m not a drop-dead 1D stan, you can admit that’s pretty impressive. I guess 1D have that glam factor, where their personal lives are interesting and scandalous and they’re just so much cuter than 5SOS.
        5SOS are def nowhere near 1D yet. Might have to wait another 2 years if they’re around as long.

  18. Jessica says:

    “Miley doesn’t care either way”

    Clearly she does or else she wouldn’t have called him an a-hole.

  19. Keiley says:

    His tattoos are f$&@ing terrible. That is all.

  20. Dani says:

    I can’t stand Ed but I love this song, a lot. No where in the song does he slut shame her (and if we’re going to talk about that, maybe everyone should also yell at every girl who sings about a guy who left her). He just says how it was messed up that she was in a sense with him (for a while, she wasn’t looking for a ‘friend’) then just dumped him one night to go sleep with someone else and the next day showed up at his door crying and trying to make up. It was very obvious at the time to everyone that they were pretty much together. I remember watching and interview where she was SO giddy about being identified as a girlfriend of someone in One Direction. It’s obvious what her intentions were.

  21. Jade says:

    Singer-songwriters write about their experiences so I don’t see what’s the problem writing about your love life. Yea I have the same tolerance for Taylor, for now. Maybe he sounds petty and it was a fling between him and Ellie but we don’t know that for sure so I won’t judge yet that he’s immature. For all we know, Ellie could have showed a hint of commitment so that’s why he was taken aback enough to write a song about it. Frankly if it was my friend, I’d say yea might as well earn some royalties from it lol. If the guy or girl had indicated from the start that a hookup is just for sex then I agree it’s not wise to expect faithfulness.

    His tattoos are pretty bad.

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      Yeah, musicians have always done this, it just seemed more glamorous when it was Eric Clapton stealing George Harrison’s wife, or Mick writing about Marianne, it was still just that day’s love gossip. I think that he was maybe not shading Niall in the Stern interview, it almost sounded like he implied it was not the One D’er everyone thought it was, or is that me? Ellie seems a bit flighty with the men, she’s much bigger deal in the U.K. but her helium style music does nothing for me.

  22. drea says:

    I don’t really understand why he should apologize to Miley. Perhaps he’s upset about being a bit sharp with her (he’s English, after all), but I’m quite certain he still doesn’t think she should twerk.

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      Yeah, it’s not a controversial or unusual opinion, she should have issued a public apology for crimes against twerking!

  23. Pocket Lint says:

    I’m not sure who is less attractive, Ed Sheeran or One Direction. We need a poll.

    • Pants says:

      No we don’t. It’s Ed Sheeran for sure.

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        But Ed Sheeran has talent. Still too much of a whiny man child for my tastes but if I had to pick….

      • littlemissnaughty says:


        @ Mrs. Darcy: But those boys are so entertaining, Sheeran is just … boring. His music is nice but a bit snoozy. Certainly nothing we haven’t been hearing for decades. And … you made me say it … 1D do have talent, it’s just a bit hard to spot sometimes because those fans are so frickin’ crazy and loud. There. Now I’ve defended a boygroup. At my age. Good gawd.

  24. I Choose Me says:

    I feel old. I don’t know who any of these people are. Well, I know there’s a Harry and a Louis in 1D. Which one is Niall?

  25. Aminta says:

    I think it’s Harry styles. They were good friends around the time Taylor dated Harry.

  26. julie says:

    Dude should thank his lucky stars he can even find a woman to sleep with him.

  27. Melymori says:

    The only song I’ve heard from him is the one in The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack so I can judge his talent but booooooy, the only reason I can think of why he’s getting ass is because his singing career… he expels douchery on an Adam Lavine levels -(and also looks like he’s the type that lies down and let the other person do the work in the bed)

  28. The New Classic says:

    I just can’t with this wonky eyed troll. Does he actually have women lusting after him?