He’s back! Ed Sheeran returned from his musical hiatus in June 2021 with the single “Bad Habits,” and now he’s getting ready to release an entire album. Titled =, the record comes more than four years after ÷ was released in March 2017.

“I started writing and recording this album in June 2017. It’s been a long, long process. I’ve been through love, loss, new life, grief and everything in between during the whole period of writing it, and I feel like it’s really a coming of age record,” the British crooner shared via Instagram in August 2021. “I’ve never been more proud of a body of work, or more excited/nervous for you all to hear it.”

Along with the album announcement, Ed also dropped his second single “Visiting Hours,” which he noted is dedicated to his late friend Michael Gudinski. The Australian producer died in March 2021 at the age of 68.

In his album announcement shared via Variety, Ed explained that = is “a really personal record.”

“My life changed greatly over the past few years — I got married, became a father, experienced loss, and I reflect on these topics over the course of the album,” the “Lego House” singer explained. “I see it as my coming-of-age record, and I can’t wait to share this next chapter with you.”

As fans know = comes after Ed released the No.6 Collaborations Project in July 2019, which featured tracks with Justin Bieber, Camila Cabello, Khalid and Bruno Mars, among other major stars.

“Before I was signed in 2011, I made an EP called No.5 Collaborations Project. Since then, I’ve always wanted to do another, so I started No.6 on my laptop when I was on tour last year,” he explained at the time via Instagram. “I’m a huge fan of all the artists I’ve collaborated with and it’s been a lot of fun to make.”

Months later, the “Castle on the Hill” singer announced a hiatus from music in December 2019. At the time, in a message to his millions of Instagram followers, Ed said he was taking “a breather to travel, write and read.” Then, almost one year later, he returned to social media on September 1, 2020, and announced the birth of his daughter, Lyra Antarctica, with wife Cherry Seaborn. “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,” the musician wrote.

Now that he’s officially back, scroll through our gallery to check out everything we know about Ed’s upcoming album.

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