Ed Sheeran says he wouldn’t have his career without Jamal Edwards.
The Shape of You hitmaker paid tribute to the late entrepreneur – who also helped launch the careers of the likes of Jessie J and Dave after setting up his music platform SBTV in 2006 – by performing at a memorial concert this week following Jamal’s tragic death death at age 31 in February.
Ed spoke to Outernet in London on Tuesday (20/09/22) at the inaugural fundraiser for The Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust and said: “He was all about finding people and showing people new opportunities at a time when the industry in was mainly in London.
“My manager, my record label, saw me first on SBTV. I really don’t think I would have been let through some of the doors if it wasn’t for Jamal putting his arms around me.’
The gala was hosted by Terry Crews and Ed was headlined by Jesse Ware, Fireboy DML, Queen Millz, Max Cyrus and Roman Kemp, plus a surprise appearance by Lewis Capaldi.
The live auction raised over £105,000 with prizes including an exclusive private tour of Abbey Road Studios, a signed David Beckham Inter Miami FC shirt and a press pass to London Fashion Week 2023.
At auction, Ed topped £18,000 for a lunch for two with Idris Elba at Portre Noire in London’s King’s Cross.
However, the top prize of the night was a signed acetate of the singer’s upcoming new album, which Grammy winner Eve snapped up for £35,000.
Brooklyn 9-9 actor Terry donated £12,000 of his own money and urged people to “dig deeper”.
Paying tribute to Jamal, he reflected: “I first met Jamal in 2014 during a press tour. I must have met 50-60 media people and this young man named Jamal came in and I’ve never been more impressed.
“I said, ‘Dude, whatever you do, I want to be a part of it. I don’t care what it is.’
“He took me to his mom’s for Christmas, he was my little brother. We were kindred spirits, always talking about the future, making things better.
“I was devastated and I made it my mission to continue his work.”
Before Ed took to the stage, Jamal’s sister Tanisha Artman added: “It’s been very difficult but we’re continuing Jamal’s work through the trust.
“This next act is incredibly special to us, he’s our family. We know that being here means as much to him as it does to us.”