After playing nearly 250 shows as part of his multi-year Divide tour, Ed Sheeran says he’s stepping back from music. The 28-year-old superstar made the announcement onstage as he performed the last date of the trek in Ipswich, England, on Monday night.
“As you may or not know, I’ve been on the Divide tour for over two years now and this is the last day of the whole thing,” he told the crowd, according to The Sun. “There is something very bittersweet about it. I love that you guys are here and we are ending it in Ipswich. This is my last gig for probably 18 months.”
Since beginning the tour in March 2017, Sheeran has performed for millions of fans across the globe. “We’ve played all around the world. Glastonbury, Wembley Stadium,” he continued. “All these amazing venues, America, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, South America — it’s been a wild one. I was told before I came on that now at the end of this tour I’ve played to nine million people around the world. It is the biggest tour ever.”
But the artist says his decision to take a break hasn’t come easy. “It’s been an emotional day for a lot of people backstage. It kind of feels like, in a weird way, that you’re breaking up with a girlfriend that you’ve been with for years. It sounds odd but it has been a long tour.”
“I want to say thank you to everyone on this tour,” he concluded. “Thank you to everyone who has given me a chance. This is my last song…See you in a few years time. Thank you.”
When he does choose to return to the stage, he might be lacking a well-known fixture of his gigs: his famous foot pedal. “This might be the last loop pedal gig,” he said earlier in the evening, the BBC reports.
“I ended the tour and I [realized] I hadn’t ever really lived a life,” he told PEOPLE last year. “It’s quite weird being a touring ‘celebrity.’ People assume you’re living the best f—ing life in the world, but you don’t really get to live any life because you work the whole time.”
“I was like ‘F—, I’m 25, I left school early and went straight into touring,'” he added. “I haven’t properly formed relationships with people so I needed to have a year off and spend it with friends and family and Cherry and actually become a human being.” During his time off, the star traveled the world with Seaborn, 27.