British pop star Ed Sheeran slept on the street outside Buckingham Palace in London as a homeless teenager.
The Sing hitmaker spent two years drifting as he struggled to forge a career in the music industry, and he has now revealed he slept rough outside the iconic royal residence.
In his new book A Visual Journey, Sheeran writes, "There was an arch outside Buckingham Palace that has a heating duct and I spent a couple of nights there. That's where I wrote the song Homeless and the lines 'It's not a homeless night for me, I'm just home less than I'd like to be'... I didn't have anywhere to live for much of 2008 and the whole of 2009 and 2010, but somehow I made it work. I knew where I could get a bed at a certain time of night and I knew who I could call at any time to get a floor to sleep on. Being sociable helped. Drinking helped."
Sheeran also slept on trains on the London Underground because it was warmer than the streets, adding "I'd go out and play a gig, wait until 5am when the Underground opened, sleep on the Circle Line until 12, go to a session - and then repeat. It wasn't that bad. It's not like I was sleeping rough on the cold streets... I didn't have the best personal hygiene at that point because I didn't get a chance to shower. It was just: sleep on the train, session, sweat on stage, drink, sleep on the train. I had 23 dreads on one side of my head from not washing my hair. My girlfriend counted them when she took them out with a comb."
The singer returned to Buckingham Palace to perform at Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012.