Ed Sheeran Cries Over Death of Best Friend Jamal Edwards: 'It's Still Very Raw'

The GRAMMY-winning singer gives an intimate look at his life in the Disney+ documentary, 'Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All.'

Ed Sheeran is brought to tears as he thinks about the death of his friend, Jamal Edwards. In the Disney+ documentary, Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All, the GRAMMY-winning singer breaks down the personal and intimate events in 2022 that inspired him to complete his album, Subtract

On Feb. 20, 2022 -- just one day after Sheeran and his wife, Cherry Seaborn, got the news about her cancer -- the singer found out that Edwards, the founder of SBTV and a British music executive, had died. He was 31. 

"I had friends in school whose parents passed when they were 14," the 32-year-old musician says. "And I look back like, 'That's when you became an adult.' I became in adult recently. Because grief instantly ends your youth."

In episode two, Loss, Sheeran joins Edwards' mother, friends and family six months after his death for a birthday BBQ celebration. Inside the party, the GRAMMY-winning musician keeps it together as he laughs and drinks with friends. He later excuses himself and steps outside of the venue. Inside the car, Sheeran begins to cry as he thinks about his late friend. 

"I feel so lost in there," he tells the camera as he breaks down in tears. "This is his first birthday that he hasn't been here. This is his first cookout that he hasn't been here. He died six months ago and it's still very raw."

Sheeran leaves the party, and travels across the city by car, stopping at Edwards' favorite local Caribbean restaurant to sit and enjoy their favorite meal alone. 

In another heartbreaking scene, the "Thinking Out Loud" singer travels to a mural that was made in honor of the music executive while he was still alive. Sheeran has a laugh as he grabs a bottle of his favorite drink, Hennessy (or Henny-Thing is Possible as Edwards called it) and sits in front of the mural and cries. 

Sheeran reflects on the funeral, which was the first time he was part of a burial for someone close. 

"This is the first time you're there and someone hands you a shovel and suddenly you're putting dirt on your mate's grave," he says inside of the car about Edwards' funeral. "And it feels so weird." 

Sheeran adds that it's weird to know that his beloved friend is laying in rest among people he does not know. Summing up his feelings as he heads away from the mural, Sheeran admits that it's still hard to process. 

"It's all pure sadness, it's all horrible. I know everyone goes through it, I know that it's like a common thing that you can't avoid --- but yeah."

After mourning his friend, Sheeran has to get back to work and play a show. In the following episode, Focus, Sheeran gears up to perform his new album for a few lucky fans at Union Capitol. For the first time, people -- outside of his immediate circle -- will hear some of his most personal music to date.

And for the first time, the singer will break down crying on stage. As he takes the stage, Sheeran warns the crowd that the first eight songs are "depressing" as he's had an "interesting start to the year." 

Sheeran starts with his song, "Boat," as the audience looks on. After the emotional song, Sheeran begins to cry as he talks about remembering Edwards.

"It's the worst time to cry, because you can't sing when you cry," he tells the audience. 

After pulling himself together, Sheeran sings "Eyes Closed," which is dedicated to the memory of his late friend. After performing, Sheeran once again breaks down in tears.

"I felt like when Jamal died, I wanted the entire world to stop like they did with the queen," he said, referring to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. "And it felt like the next day life resumed."

Sheeran closes his most emotional show to date with "Amazing Grace," the hymn that was sung at Edwards' funeral.

After the set, Sheeran heads backstage to prepare for a meet-and-greet. It's there that he reveals he feels ashamed for crying onstage. 

"I thought I was going to go onstage and sing the songs. I thought that I was going to ... literally thought I'd get up onstage, sing them. 'Eyes Closed' is a pop song," he says. "I thought I'd come up on stage and belt out 'Eyes Closed.'"

He begins to cry as he adds, "Its more like, because no one knows the songs yet and they are personal and they are real and they are ... I sung 'Amazing Grace' because that's what they sang at Jamal's funeral, and it just felt like a nice way to end it basically."

Reminding himself that he has to get back to work, Sheeran tells the camera, "But now I got to pretend to everyone that everything's all good and we're going to have a glass of wine. Let's just have an open door and have fun." 

In episode four, Balance, Sheeran pays one final musical tribute to his friend with the video for "F64" from Edwards' SBTV YouTube channel. 

The music, which is a 64-bar rap dedicated to his memories of Edwards, is filmed inside of the Chelsea Football Club stadium. As Sheeran raps, an image of his best friend is illuminated on the screens around him and his name is spelled out on the seats. 

"The thing is I couldn't go anything else after this," Sheeran says of the shoot. "This is as good as it gets for him in terms of a tribute."

After sharing an emotional moment with Edwards' mother and sister, Sheeran knows that his friend would give the video his seal of approval. 

"I do believe in the afterlife and I do believe that people do go somewhere and I do believe that I will see him again, and this will be the first thing where he's like, 'Oh God, I can't believe you did that,'" he says.

Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All is now streaming on Disney+.