Ed Sheeran keeps a low profile most of the time, but he’s been happily taken and married for years—and inspired by his love and mother of his daughters Cherry Seaborn musically. Below, everything to know about the longtime couple behind the decade’s best love songs.
In February 2023, Sheeran revealed Seaborn had been diagnosed with a tumor during her second pregnancy. A source later said she received treatment and is “recovering well.”
Sheeran revealed the news while introducing his new album Subtract, writing, “Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumor, with no route to treatment until after the birth.” Seaborn gave birth to their second daughter in May 2022.
Sheeran wrote of the album in full:
I had been working on Subtract for a decade, trying to sculpt the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear vision of what I thought it should be. Then at the start of 2022, a series of events changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art.
Writing songs is my therapy. It helps me make sense of my feelings. I wrote without thought of what the songs would be, I just wrote whatever tumbled out. And in just over a week I replaced a decade’s worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts.
Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumour, with no route to treatment until after the birth. My best friend Jamal, a brother to me, died suddenly, and I found myself standing in court defending my integrity and career as a songwriter. I was spiralling through fear, depression and anxiety. I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air.
As an artist I didn’t feel like I could credibly put a body of work into the world that didn’t accurately represent where I am and how I need to express myself at this point in my life. This album is purely that. It’s opening the trapdoor into my soul. For the first time, I’m not trying to craft an album people will like, I’m merely putting something out that’s honest and true to where I am in my adult life.
This is last February’s diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is Subtract.
A source shared with The Sun shortly after Sheeran shared the news that Seaborn received treatment for the tumor and is “recovering well.”
“It’s been an incredibly tough time for Cherry and Ed,” the source said. “The tumor came as a huge shock, and the fact they couldn’t operate straight away was hugely concerning and scary. But after [their second daughter] Jupiter arrived safely, Cherry has now received the treatment needed and is recovering well. They both hope it will be a much better 2023.”
Seaborn spoke in Sheeran’s documentary series Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All about her diagnosis and why she decided to appear in the series despite usually keeping a lower profile.
“I got diagnosed with cancer at the start of the year which was a massive sh*itter,” she started in doc’s first episode, via People. “It made me massively reflect on our mortality. I would never agree to do anything like this but it made me think, ‘Oh if I died, what’s people’s perception of me? What do you leave behind?’ For Ed, the whole point is he wants to say to people, ‘I’m not just this music machine. I’m not just this robot that tries to get No. 1. I’m a father, I’m a son, I’m a friend.’ It wasn’t until this year when I was like, ‘I might die.’”
Sheeran spoke later in that episode about how much Seaborn means to him: “It’s the most amazing thing in my life that nobody really knows about,” he said. “Everything in my life got so much better when she got into it.”
Seaborn’s diagnosis ended up being “much less severe” than what they were told and she was able to be treated successfully.
Sheeran revealed in his documentary series that thankfully, after a tumor was found on Seaborn’s arm, Seaborn’s diagnosis ended up being “much less severe” than what they were initially told. Seaborn was able to give birth to their second child, have surgery after, and she later had a clear MRI, with no cancer returning, per Entertainment Tonight. “It all looks good, lymph nodes are all calmed down and everything,” she said in the final episode of the series. “So that was amazing, it was massive of us actually.”
She also reflected on the impact of her diagnosis on Sheeran. “We’ve barely had a conversation this year about his mental health,” she said. “I can see it and it’s massive alarm bells to me. I’m in a much better place from a processing perspective. I don’t think Ed is there yet. There’s no way he’s had time to sit and process and be at peace with things. He’s been too busy. He needs to stop, he needs to process. He hasn’t processed at all.”
She’s a part-time pro hockey player.
Technically, according to DailyMail.com, Seaborn’s day job is as a senior consultant in risk advisory at accounting firm Deloitte and Touche. According to the outlet, she earned a degree in molecular biology at Durham’s Duke University, North Carolina, where she also played hockey as a forward.
According to the university website, she led her team to a runner-up finish in the Investec English Woman’s Hockey League for two consecutive seasons. Seaborn still regularly plays hockey, and Sheeran was spotted cheering from the sidelines at her hockey training in December 2019.
Seaborn and Sheeran have been in each other’s lives for longer than you think.
This couple had been “Thinking Out Loud” about each other long before Sheeran ever became famous. According to the BBC, the pair met at Thomas Mills High in Suffolk, England but “got together in 2015” after reportedly reconnecting at a fourth of July party, an account seemingly confirmed in Sheeran’s verses on Taylor Swift’s “End Game.”
At one point he sings, “Knew it when I was young / We connected when we were little bit older” and “Something was born on the Fourth of July.”
They’ve mostly kept their relationship and marriage out of the public eye.
You won’t be granted too many peeks into the relationship between Sheeran and Seaborn. She’s never spoken publicly about their relationship, and he only confirmed that they’re husband and wife after rampant fan speculation. In February 2018, he was spotted wearing a silver wedding band on his ring finger.
But wasn’t until a July 2019 interview with The Breakfast Club host Charlamagne Tha God that he confirmed his marriage to Seaborn. He was asked about the song “Remember the Name” on No.6 Collaborations Project where he raps, “Watch how the lyrics in this song might get twisted/My wife wears red but looks better without the lipstick.”
He told the host, “It was actually before me and Cherry got married, and I knew that we’d be married by the point that the song came out,” he explained. “So I said, ‘Watch how the lyrics in this song might get twisted/My wife wears red but looks better without the lipstick,’ And I was like, ’cause someone’s going to hear that and be like ‘Oh they’re married,’ and I didn’t know how that would be. But, obviously, it’s already come out.”
The Sun later reported that the pair married in a secret ceremony just before Christmas 2018 at his Suffolk estate, surrounded by a close group of family and friends.
She reportedly influenced Sheeran’s break from music.
Sheeran has been known to take a social media break or two. But his first major step back came in December 2015, right around the time he rekindled things with Seaborn. “I’ve had such an amazing ride over the last five years but I find myself seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes so I’m taking the opportunity of me not having to be anywhere or do anything to travel the world and see everything I missed,” he wrote on Instagram at the time.
A year later, he admitted during a Beats1 interview: “The catalyst of taking a year off was also the fact that my partner quit her job in New York—which she’s now got back in London, which is really cool—but we were just basically like, let’s quit our jobs and have a year of forming a tight bond. So we went traveling and spent every day for a year together.” He added, “This has been the first time I’ve ever actually had the time to fall in love properly.”
That timeline aligns with Sheeran’s engagement announcement in January 2018: “Got myself a fiancé just before new year. We are very happy and in love, and our cats are chuffed as well xx,” he captioned a blurry polaroid of the pair.
These days, Seaborn is regularly a muse for Sheeran’s love songs.
While Sheeran’s blossoming relationship with Seaborn influenced his break from public life, it’s also inspired some mega-successful love songs. During his Breakfast Club interview, he spoke about the No.6 Collaborations Project track “Best Part of Me.”
Host Charlamagne asked Sheeran, “Is it healthy to think that the best of you is another person, though?” and Ed semi-agreed before adding, “I constantly wake up every day with Cherry and I’m just like, ‘Why the fuck are you with me? You could literally be with whoever you wanted, and you’ve chosen me. And I’m saying all of the things that I think are wrong with me, but you still want to be with me.’ And I just find that amazing.”
Seaborn also provided inspiration for the lyrics of Sheeran’s song “Perfect.” The words, “We were just kids when we fell in love / Not knowing what it was / I will not give you up this time” reference the beginning of their relationship. Sheeran also confirmed to Us Weekly that the line, “Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song” was about a trip to Ibiza they took together.
Last year, Seaborn appeared in the music video for Sheeran’s “Put It All On Me [feat. Ella Mai]” and is referenced in his collaboration with Justin Bieber, “I Don’t Care.”
Seaborn welcomed her first child with Sheeran in September 2020.
Sheeran announced he and Seaborn quietly became parents in September 2020. “Ello! A quick message from me as I have some personal news that I wanted to share with you… Last week, with the help of an amazing delivery team, Cherry gave birth to our beautiful and healthy daughter – Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran. We are completely in love with her. Both mum and baby are doing amazing and we are on cloud nine over here. We hope that you can respect our privacy at this time. Lots of love and I’ll see you when it’s time to come back, Ed x.” The two have kept their daughter’s life private.
Sheeran celebrated Seaborn’s 30th birthday with a rare tribute to his wife in May 2022.
Sheeran, since his daughter’s birth, has kept his personal life largely off his Instagram. But on May 6, he made an exception, marking his wife’s 30th birthday by sharing a photo of the two together. “HBD to ma baby mama. 30 looks good on you 🍒,” he wrote to her.
The couple welcomed their second child, Jupiter Seaborn Sheeran, in May of 2022.
In May 2022, Sheeran posted another little pair of socks on Instagram to celebrate the birth of his second child, a daughter named Jupiter.
“Want to let you all know we’ve had another beautiful baby girl,” he wrote in the caption. “We are both so in love with her, and over the moon to be a family of 4.”
Sheeran opened up about parenting two young children with Seaborn.
On Friday, October 14, 2022, Sheeran made an appearance on Good Morning America where he gave rare insight into what it’s like parenting with Seaborn.
“It’s great,” he began, before adding, “We’re in the trenches.”
“They’ve been on tour with me,” he continued. “My second daughter was born while we were on tour, but my first daughter comes to the shows, she’s quite aware… I think she assumes everyone else’s dad sings as well, though.”
He added, “It’s every cliché that people say about parenting. You love both kids exactly the same but also completely differently. I’m really enjoying being a father of two.”
Savannah Walsh is an Editorial Fellow at ELLE.com.
Senior News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.