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Mayer played a one-off solo show at LA’s Wiltern theater to benefit his Heart and Armor Foundation, and on Tuesday morning, Mayer’s name was joined by Sheeran’s on the Wiltern marquee as a special guest. It was Sheeran’s opportunity to repay the favor after Mayer filled in for opening act Khalid when the R&B singer got in a car accident ahead of a July stop at Gillette Stadium outside Boston.
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Sheeran kicked off the night with a seven-song set, including a medley of his = (Equals) hits “Bad Habits” and “Shivers” and a ’90s-hip-hop-infused version of his 2014 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 “Don’t” that included snippets of “No Diggity,” “California Love” and “The Next Episode.”
And that wasn’t the last time the crowd would see Sheeran: The British singer/songwriter re-emerged during Mayer’s 16-song set, duetting on the Continuum fan favorite “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” — with Sheeran singing the 2006 song’s wailing guitar solo — and on a cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” which has become a staple of Mayer’s live shows.
The two hugged following the duets, with Sheeran telling the crowd with a laugh, “I just said to John: I feel like I’m going to watch that on YouTube for the rest of my life. That was so special.”
Watch the “Free Fallin'” duet below:
Mayer helped establish the Heart and Armor Foundation in 2019 to support the health of veterans of war, and 100% of the proceeds from Tuesday night’s show — including two auctioned-off pairs of tickets that raised more than $16,000 — went to the charity.
Next up, Mayer returns to his solo acoustic tour starting Oct. 3 in New York and wrapping Nov. 10 back in Los Angeles. On Thursday, Sheeran will kick off season 2 of Amazon Music Live by playing after the Thursday Night Football game.
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