Independent releases were the way to go, and Sheeran issued eight of them between 2005 and 2011. An appearance at a club in Los Angeles earned him a fan and friend in Jamie Foxx, who offered Sheeran some studio time and a place to stay while in town.
The last, No. 5 Collaborations Project, landed him a major label deal with Atlantic Records and a spot on the UK Singles chart for “The A Team,” "You Need Me, I Don't Need You," and “Lego House.” His debut album, +, entered the UK charts at number one and has since won two BRIT Awards and been certified quadruple platinum in the UK. “The A Team” also cracked the upper ranks of pop charts in Australia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, and the Netherlands.
Touring with Snow Patrol, writing songs for One Direction, and performing for the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, Sheeran enjoyed a fairly meteoric rise to fame before even being legal to drink alcohol in the U.S.