I never dreamed I would witness the birth of a star; that moment in time when a young artist makes his impression on the world and the world is forever changed. But that’s exactly what happened on my recent trip to New York City:
We arrived at the Today Show studios in New York City too late that day. Even though we planned to be there for the outdoor segments, my daughter and I arrived just as they were breaking down the set. The crew told us the hosts would not be coming back outside, but that we could see into the studio if we moved to the end of the building. Curious and eager to see the TV set, we followed their lead and found ourselves among a small group of teenage girls who were waiting for something to happen. Everyone else was leaving the area, so we asked the girls what was going on:
“Ed Sheeran will be on in a few minutes,” the girls replied.
“Who is Ed Sheeran?” my daughter and I asked sheepishly.
“He’s an up and coming singer/songwriter who is very popular in the UK,” a thoughtful girl replied.
“Oh, cool!” we thought, even though we didn’t know who he was.
We decided to stay and see what Ed Sheeran was all about.
In just a short time, we started to share the girls’ enthusiasm for his appearance in the studio. We saw ourselves on the large TV screens outside of the building when the cameras cut to our small anticipating crowd. My daughter and I jumped up and down, waved, screamed; I even made one of those Taylor Swift heart signs with my hands. We had definitely sipped the Kool Aid and we didn’t even know who this guy was yet.
We started trying to take his picture as he set up for his performance in the studio – because the other girls were.
They were really getting excited – and loud; and I was eager to hear him sing. It felt like something big was about to happen.
And then, we saw Ed Sheeran being introduced on the large TV screens. He’s really an awkward looking, soft-spoken guy with a mop of red hair – not your usual heartthrob. He began to play. But there was no sound. The crew had removed the outdoor speakers and we were left to witness the aura of Ed Sheeran in silence.
It would have been disappointing except that a wonderful thing started to happen. The girls in the crowd who knew him and had already memorized his songs started to sing. They could tell what song he was singing and they filled in the silence with their voices! This is a short video of the girls singing:
The next thing that happened was so surprising to me. I spotted Ed Sheeran’s bright head of hair exiting the building to our left. As I watched, he stopped at the barriers and greeted some fans. No one really knew what was happening yet, so I grabbed my daughter and sprinted over. We watched as he posed for a few fan photos and when it was my daughter’s turn, I took a video by mistake. Embarrassed, I said “wait a minute” and he waited patiently while I changed my phone camera to the still photo setting. I got a great shot of them together and then told him about the girls singing during his song. I just thought he should know – and his face lit up.
I planned this trip to NYC with my daughter to see the Broadway show, Evita. The draw of well-known (and gorgeous) Ricky Martin was the reason for our trip, but the most memorable moment of the weekend became our chance encounter with Ed Sheeran, now one of my daughter’s favorites, just as his star was rising in the US.
Give him a listen – and tell me he doesn’t have the sweetest, kindest voice. A voice to match the person we met on the sidewalk that day.
This is a video I found of his Today Show performance: