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Justin Bieber has opened up about his struggles with fame, drugs and depression in a lengthy post that just might make you a Belieber again.

The personal message was shared to his Instagram page, and he apologises for past behaviour and reflects on his growth from a child star to a confident musician and husband.

Music manager and enemy #1 of Taylor Swift, Scooter Braun, discovered Bieber when he was just 13-years-old on YouTube.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

The note is opened up by the pop star by addressing recent feelings of depression, linked to the “quite unexplainable” pressure placed on a celebrity who has come from an unstable home to grow up in the chaotic media spotlight.

“It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning…when it feels like there’s trouble after trouble after trouble,” he wrote on Instagram

“You start foreseeing the day through lenses of ‘dread’ and anticipate another bad day. A cycle of feeling disappointment after disappointment. Sometimes it can even get to the point where you don’t even want to live anymore. Where you feel like it’s never going to change.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

He had "millions in the bank" by just 18-years-old and “access to whatever I wanted” but “no skills in the real world”, he said.

By 19, the singer was doing “pretty heavy drugs” and “abused” the relationships he was in: “I became resentful, disrespectful to women and angry,” he explained.

He had an epiphany moment at 20, where he had “made every bad decision you could have thought of and went from one of the most loved and adored people in the world to the most ridiculed, judged and hated person in the world.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

The 25-year-old wrote that his life has changed for the better, thanking his faith, marriage to Hailey Baldwin, and the support network of his friends and family for his recovery.

He made sure to add that the biggest dopamine rush you can get is being on stage, and performers turn to drugs to cope with the "huge highs and lows" of life off-stage.

Bieber has teased new music following his hit collaboration with Ed Sheeran, I Don’t Care. 

Many of us remember Purpose, his last album which was released in 2015 and delivered bangers like Sorry, What Do You Mean and Where Are U Now?.

Feature image: Instagram/@jailey_addict

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Ed Sheeran has announced his semi-retirement at the tender age of 28 in order to spend time with his wife and childhood sweetheart; Cherry Seaborn.

The Beautiful People singer has made a fortune from his music and tour dates, and has appeared at number 17 of the UK's richest musicians in 2019.

The singer told fans at the last gig of his Divide tour that he'll be stepping away from the spotlight to build a life with his new wife.

While on stage at Chantry Park in Ipswitch on Monday, an emotional Sheeran said to the crowd that he had an announcement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @teddysphotos) on

"As you may or not know, I've been on the Divide tour for over two years now and this is the last day of the whole thing.

"There is something very bittersweet about it. I love that you guys are here and we are ending it in Ipswich. This is my last gig for probably 18 months," he continued.

"We've played all around the world. Glastonbury, Wembley Stadium. All these amazing venues, America, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, South America – it's been a wild one."

He went on: "I was told before I came on that now at the end of this tour I've played to nine million people around the world. It is the biggest tour ever."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on

"It's been an emotional day for a lot of people backstage. It kind of feels like, in a weird way, that you're breaking up with a girlfriend that you've been with for years," he joked.

"It sounds odd but it has been a long tour." Monday's concert may as well be his final loop pedal tour gig, as he'll have a band behind him next time.

Fighting back tears, Ed changed out of his Ipswich Town football shirt and put on another one symbolising his home; Framlingham Town.

"This is a Framlingham Town football shirt. I am from Framlingham. Suffolk is my home. I am so happy to be ending this mammoth tour here," he added.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on

"I want to say thank you to everyone on this tour. Thank you to everyone who has given me a chance. This is my last song. I wrote this when I was 15 years old. See you in a few years' time. Thank you."

Ed low-key married his childhood sweetheart Cherry last December, and recently revealed that they're planning to start a family; "I'm starting a life with Cherry. I can't spend the next 20 years on the road."

"Kids would be the different thing. I wouldn't mind sacrificing for them. If someone told me you can't tour again for the next ten years if you have kids that is fine, because that is what I have signed up for.

"I've already achieved more than I thought I would, so now I'm just trying to have fun."

Feature image: Instagram/@teddysphotos

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Well, speculation has been rife for months that Ed Sheeran had already tied the knot in secret to Cherry Seaborn and now the singer has finally confirmed the rumours.

The British artist dropped his No. 6 Collaborations Project album today, and confirmed in a video interview with Charlamagne The God that he wed his long-time lady Cherry last year.

Charlamagne Tha God boldly asks about the lyrics on the same Remember the Name featuring 50 Cent and Eminem, specifically;

“Watch how the lyrics in the songs might get twisted. My wife wears red, but looks better without the lipstick.” My WIFE. He's only gone and done it.

The 28-year-old revealed that the pair hadn't actually tied the knot when he wrote those lyrics;

“It was actually before me and Cherry got married and I knew that we’d be married by the point that the song came out. I thought; "Someone’s gonna hear that and be like, ‘Oh, they’re married!’" I didn’t know how that would be construed, but obviously it’s already come out.”

The Sun reported in February that Cherry and Ed had wed in December at their Suffolk home in front of 40 family members and friends.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos.aut) on

“Ed got married a few days before Christmas. It was very quiet — just Ed’s oldest school pals, limited family and the priest,” the publication reported.

“He wanted no fuss and he wanted it to be something entirely for them — just a tiny winter wedding…Neither of them were that fussed about making a big deal about it.”

The Sun also claimed that the pair wanted a bigger ceremony this summer for their wider circle. The pair met at school when Ed was 11, but they only got romantic when they reconnected in 2015.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@edxsheeran_brazil) on

You can thank Taylor Swift for their marriage, as they shared their first date at her Fourth of July bash in the summer of 2015.

Sheeran revealed that he'd proposed over the 2017 season in January of last year. The hockey player was the inspiration behind the ballad Perfect.

“Got myself a fiancé just before new year,” the Grammy winner wrote on Instagram. “We are very happy and in love, and our cats are chuffed as well xx.” BLESS THEM.

Feature image: Instagram/@teddysphotos/femalefirst.co.uk

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We've been eagerly anticipating Ed Sheeran's entry to the dramatic feud of Taylor Swift versus Scooter Braun.

For anyone unaware of the insane situation, Taylor Swift released a scathing indictment of the music manager after he acquired her life's work (six multi-platinum albums) in a $300 million deal.

She was left feeling "sad" and "grossed out" after a man who has allegedly been "manipulating and bullying" her for years gained control over her years of hard work.

https://taylorswift.tumblr.com/post/185958366550/for-years-i-asked-pleaded-for-a-chance-to-own-my

Taylor's fans were quick to point out that numerous powerful men in the music industry were keeping a firm silence on the whole drama, while women took sides with Scooter or Taylor.

Sia, Demi Lovato and Yael showed support for Scooter, while Halsey, Cara Delevigne and Miley Cyrus showed their team flags were for Taylor.

One friend of Taylor whose silence has spoken volumes was Ed Sheeran. Shawn Mendes also was an opener for the singer, so his silence is noticeable. 

Her fans are furious at men in Taylor's life who haven't publicly supported her, given how large and influential their platforms are.

However, Ed Sheeran has now responded to the spamming of his Instagram by confirming that he has been talking directly to the You Need To Calm Down singer behind the scenes.

"I've been speaking directly to her, like I always do," Ed replied to a fan, @martinamalcotti_ on Instagram.

Image: Instagram/@teddysphotos

Time will tell whether or not he will publicly express his views on the matter, but history shows he tries to stay out of any Hollywood music industry drama.

The pair collaborated on numerous projects together, such as the adorable Everything Has Changed video featuring mini Taylor and Ed.

Both artists have been friends for years, so we're assuming he's supporting her in private. We certainly hope he is, anyway.

Feature image: Getty Images/Instagram/@lightmeup.swift13

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Scottish-born singer and nephew of Peter Capaldi, Lewis Capaldi, has won hearts all over the nation with his HILARIOUS social media antics and voice of a gravelly angel.

His new album, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, is out May 17 and features his UK Number 1 platinum-selling single Someone You Loved. It's officially the longest running number one single of the past 25 years, so he's hit the big time.

Part of the reason why he's found chart success is his campaigning on Twitter and Instagram, using absolutely gas photos of himself sporting various eccentric sunglasses and filming his strange antics.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lewis Calamari (@lewiscapaldi) on

If you haven't seen the thread of him having to unclog his toilet, you've missed out. Our personal fave is the stream of himself listening to Ariana Grande's latest album, which was set to knock his tune out of the charts.

In fact, his song made it back into the top 10, reaching number one and staying there. We're SO glad it did, because this down-to-earth chap with a love for Tinder deserves it.

After supporting Picture This at their five consecutive 3Arena nights recently, Capaldi is coming back to Dublin for his very own 2020 arena tour. 

Sunday March 8, 2020 at Dublin's 3Arena sold out in minutes, as well as the rest of the UK tour dates, but our boy has hooked us up with an extra date on March 9, 2020.

He's also initiating his special LIVELIVE programme to support fans experiencing emotional difficulties and have concerns about attending shows.

 

There'll be a team at each venue who are expertly trained and qualified in assisting with panic, anxiety or any other concerns fans may have. Capaldi created the scheme after his own experiences with anxiety had a dramatic effect on him.

Speaking about the idea, the singer said; "I really wanted to put something in place to help those people feel comfortable and offer them support to allow them to experience the shows."

The 22-year-old's tunes have been streamed over 600,000 times, and the youngster was shortlisted for the BBC Critics Choice Award. Tickets from €37.35 are on sale now via Ticketmaster, grab yours now.

Feature image: Instagram/@lewiscapaldi

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Ed Sheeran is a married man.

The 28-year-old has reportedly tied the kot with his fiancée Cherry Seaborn – before Christmas.

The couple, who are childhood friends, wed in a low-key Suffolk ceremony.

So no A-List names were in attendance? 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Who likes sport sports

A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on

There was only 40 close friends and family in attendance.

It has been said that, ''Ed got married a few days before Christmas. It was very quiet – just Ed's oldest school pals, limited family and the priest.''

The report continued, ''There were only 40 people – so no Taylor Swift, record company executives or any royals or pop star pals. He wanted no fuss and he wanted it to be something entirely for them -just a tiny winter wedding. Neither of them were that fussed about making a big deal about it. Cherry just wanted to get it out of the way without any problems or intrusions.''

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on

That sounds like the perfect intimate wedding.

The pair are planning a festival-style wedding for the summer for their celebrity friends so we'll get some amazing snaps from that bash.

Ed announced his engagement to Cherry in January 2018 on Instagram, writing, ''Got myself a fiancée just before new year. We are very happy and in love, and our cats are chuffed as well.''

Huge congratulations to the happy couple on this brilliant news. 

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Now first of all, we ain't here to promote keyboard warriors or viciously cruel groups online who tear people down for the craic. No, that's not our style.

However, the art of trolling must be respected at all costs, especially from a nation as sarcastic and exceptional at 'slagging' such as Ireland.

From Waterford Whisperers embodying the Ultimate Irish Trolling Association, to the current troll of the day; the egg that stole Kylie Jenner's record for most likes on an Instagram photos, here's a round-up of our favourite savage moments in pop culture.

sally kohn troll GIF by The Opposite of Hate

Ready yourself for wigs being hilariously snatched and thrown into the wind, it's a bumpy ride of burns and teasing gone too far.

1. Waterford Whisperers trolling Westlife's new song, Hello My Love:

The vast majority of people were ECSTATIC when Westlife announced their comeback; their Twenty Tour sold 400,000 tickets in under 48 hours for God's sake.

Not everyone was over the moon about Ireland's premier boyband reuniting however, with Waterford Whisperers delivering a vicious burn that has us in stitches.

"Helplines are now fielding calls from thousands of stricken people after the release of the first new Westlife single in over eight years," the article states.

"Penned by Ed Sheeran for maximum disruption, the track caused nausea, hysterics and uncontrollable weeping for one in every seven listeners, and emergency call centres have stated that they are receiving one call every nine seconds which consists solely of someone screaming “fuuuuuuuuuck”." 

As savage as it is towards the national heroes we call Westlife, we were laughing for a solid twenty minutes at this one.

harry potter troll in the dungeon GIF

2. Lovinkiara's artistic flare

If you haven't seen last year's Twitter thread that featured @lovinkiara taking drawing requests, and delivering some…interest…results, you've missed out.

She became somewhat of a hero among trolls after uploaded a tweet that supposedly depicted her talanted artistic capabilities:

The cartoon styles seem pretty legit, in all fairness. What came next had the internet shooketh, the woman isn't exactly Leo DaVinci:

They just get more and more amusing the longer you stare at them:

At this stage we were in tears:

Okay, we had to stop reading the tweets after this one because our vision blurred at how utterly terrible the cartoons are:

Iconic trolling Kiara, carry on dear daughter of the troll.

3. Justin Bieber heads to…North Korea?!

A website asked its users to choose the next country which Justin Bieber would visit on his My World tour, and the answer wasn't exactly conventional. Let's just say he wasn't rushing to grab his passport anytime soon…

Yup, the Biebs himself (babyface Biebs at that stage in his career… and arguably in his current stage too…) was instructed to visit NORTH KOREA.

What's even more amusing/horrifying, North Korea received an insane 659,448 votes. Dear God, that's the size of a country. It's more than the population of Iceland, let that sink in…

4. M Night School Hoax

M. Night Shyamalan is a relatively renowned film director, known for creating iconic scary movies such as The Sixth Sense, The Happening, Split, The Last Airbender, Signs and The Village.

 While many claim that his films are hit-and-miss, with some achieving critical acclaim and box office success, others have royally bombed. Someone eventually took it upon themselves to crowdfund to send him back to film school.

Named The M. Night School, the creator worked out that if 150,000 people donated one dollar each, they could donate enough cash for the director to be put through film school once again at NYU.

The ruthless trolling of the director rages on today… who knows if he's become immune to it at this stage or if he cries himself to sleep every M. Night?

5. Ed Sheeran's head of security

@SecurityKev became a smash hit star as Ed Sheeran's GAS head of security, and who even got the catchphrase; "Always. Watching" for his consistent background lurking.

It's iconic, he even calls Ed 'bae', throwing in a 'Who's the Daddy' at the most random of moments. His internet fame has earned him a huge 963,000 Instagram followers who watch his every move, ironically;

 

"When bae takes you shopping #burberry", he captioned this next one. He only went and won Instagram, didn't he? 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

When bae takes you shopping @Burberry

A post shared by Kevin Myers (@securitykev) on

Celebrity cameos are also constantly featured on the account, including from Calvin Harris, Shawn Mendes and James Blunt. We're cackling.

He even went and trolled Ed's Perfect video, and we can't top it. We desperately tried to lower ourselves to this level of troll, but it's just not possible:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What the perfect video should’ve been

A post shared by Kevin Myers (@securitykev) on

He got CHERRY, Ed's fiancé, to help him troll the video. It's….ART. Carry on with your business, Kev. #PAtothestar

6. Ryan Reynolds being Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively being Blake Lively

Words aren't even needed for his hilarious "Happy Birthday to my amazing wife" post. It's piping hot tea. Consider us scalded.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Happy Birthday to my amazing wife.

A post shared by Ryan Reynolds (@vancityreynolds) on

Of course, what makes Ryan Reynolds the best troll is his ability to take a good trolling himself, courtesy of Wolverine and Jake Gyllenhaal.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

These fucking assholes said it was a sweater party. 

A post shared by Ryan Reynolds (@vancityreynolds) on

7. Trisha Paytas being the Queen of Trolls day-in and day-out

The woman is relentless. It never ends.

The YouTube star has been around since 2010, and has acquired over 4.5 MILLION subscribers, specifically to witness her troll the hell out of everyone.

Her shallow personality has us hooked, we're full-blown addicts at this stage. God knows how or why. We don't question it.

There you have it, the greatest trolling moments on the 'net we can find.

They're petty, they're absurd, they're glorious. Art just doesn't get much better than this.

Keep them coming, we LIVE for this sprinkling of bitter, bitter salt.

hilarious salt bae GIF

​​

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Westlife's brand new single Hello My Love has OFFICIALLY been released, after airing on Breakfast Republic on RTE 2FM this morning.

The boyband uploaded a short video to Twitter confirming the catchy pop track's release, and the internet went into absolute meltdown.

The tune was written by renowned pop hitmakers Ed Sheeran and Steve Mac, so it's bound to make it to the top of the charts.

In the short clip, Kian Egan announces to their ecstatic fanbase; "Our brand new single Hello My Love is out right now!"

The boys will be performing the new single on tomorrow night's The Graham Norton Show, which is set to be a big night for Shane, Kian, Mark and Nicky.

The lads are releasing their first album in a whopping EIGHT LONG YEARS, and it's safe to say our hearts may just stop when it drops.

Nicky Byrne shared a short audio of the song yesterday, and we're in our graves from sheer excitement already;

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nicky Byrne (@nickybyrneinsta) on

Westlife will finish their tour with two massive dates at Croke Park in Dublin this July, which had tickets flying out the door.

The four members shared a photo which appeared to have been taken inside GAA Headquarters before the tour was confirmed, teasing their Croke Park gigs to excited fans.

The Twenty Tour is the boybands' fastest selling tour of all time, it sold an INSANE 400,000 tickets in just 48 hours.

In other news, Westlife have dismissed consistent rumours that Brian McFadden is to rejoin the band, commenting that: “Everyone is talking about this except us.”

It's Robbie Williams vs Take That drama all over again. At least we're getting a brand new chune and a tour?

We don't even know if we're ready for the explosion of Westlife fever which will ensue from their single, prepare yourselves gals.

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Ed Sheeran has just announced that his iconic tune, Shape of You, has just become the most listened to Spotify song EVER.

The song just surpassed an unbelievable TWO BILLION streams on the music platform, meaning that you'd literally have to start listening to it in 12,758BC to play it two billion times consecutively.

That. Is. Insane.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thank you world. First song to 2 billion streams on @spotify xx

A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on

Sheeran himself commented on the feat through his Instagram account, writing;

“Thank you world. First song to two billion streams on Spotify”.

This essentially confirms the fact that it's the most popular song in the world, which is no easy achievement.

That's not all the records that Sheeran has broken, he has yet ANOTHER song in the top ten Spotify songs; Thinking Out Loud.

The 2014 ballad which is now played at every wedding ever sits at number five with 1.2 million streams… not bad, not bad.

Canadian rapper Drake’s single God’s Plan was the most listened-to song of 2018, with an impressive 1.1 billion streams.

Ariana Grande took the title of most listened to female artist of 2018 on Spotify, with her Sweetener album deservedly breaking numerous records. Slay queen.

Congrats Ed, you're always on our A-Team.

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In case you missed this entire furore, Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé hit the headlines over the last few days over their outfits while performing together in South Africa.

While Beyoncé was dressed like… a QUEEN… Ed Sheeran wore his usual t-shirt and jeans attire. 

Social media users have commented on the possible gender dynamic between the two, where the female singer is under pressure to look a certain way, while the men are allowed to dress in whatever manner they want;

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kathy Wilson (@kathywilsonnyc) on

Others online think the entire debacle is rather hilarious, and Ed Sheeran evidently is on this side of the sea.

The 27-year-old singer-songwriter is known for his down-to-earth style of things, and replied with predictable humour.

He posted a purchase link to the t-shirt which he was wearing in the performance on his Instagram story;

Instagram/@teddysphotos

He later added:

"Follow hoax1994 for more of my amazing fashion choices x. #dresstoimpress"

The clothing company Hoax are of the same mind as Sheeran, and posted to their own Instagram feed:

Well, you can't say he doesn't see the funny side of things.

He doesn't appear to be very concerned about the whole debate online, at least Hoax are getting some top quality promotion because of it all.

What are your thoughts, does Ed need the Queer Eye guys to give him a make-over?

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A photograph taken of our Lord and Saviour Queen Bey and arguably the world's current most popular singer-songwriter has sparked a MAJOR debate online about gender and an artists' 'brand'.

Why? Well, mainly because Ed was dressed like he was popping down to the local Spar to grab a one litre carton of milk, while Beyoncé was dressed, I mean, like BEYONCÉ. Fierce, fiesty and fabulous.

A few Twitter users have claimed that this displays an attitude towards gender norms, showing the expectations which women have on their shoulders to look stunning 24 hours a day, while men can wear whatever they damn well please.

The two global superstars performed together in Johannesburg, South Africa last weekend to celebrate the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100. 

The duo paid homage to the late Nelson Mandela, who Beyoncé claims has hugely impacted on her parenting principles with her three children; Blue Ivy, Rumi and Sir.

Of course, the pair simply had to perform the gift of their huge worldwide hit, Perfect, which the crowd essentially sang louder than them. Yet their choice of clothing has grabbed nearly the entirety of the focus.

Beyoncé has always worn the most EXTRA outfits in the business because it's part of her essence, her brand and her overall look.

She is a massive lover of fashion, even designing her own lines, while Sheeran has always been open about stripping back everything so that only his musical talent is on display. 

Singer-songwriters always perform with the hope that their stories within the songs are what is focused on, whereas Beyoncé is a performer.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Mode Mistress (@themodemistress) on

She uses choreography, graphics, lighting, backing vocals, political statements, her own music AND fashion to make her statements.

Lest we forget, her iconic Coachella performance was famed for the fashion choice as well as it's artistic mastery. Her On the Run tour outfits have changed the GAME of musical attire, her Formation hats especially grabbing the attention.

They exacerbate her talent, but we all know that if we strip Queen Bey of her dress choice, her choreography and her light show and graphic background, she would still deliver an incredible performance.

Yet numerous Twitter users argue that male artists can stand on their talent alone, whereas women must always have a more-than-presentable appearance, they must always have something else for their audience.

Ed Sheeran could wear a pin-striped suit if he so desired, but this would not run parallel with the branding behind his music. His image is the fact that he has no image; it's all about his own chill, laid-back vibe.

He has gained notoriety especially in the States for his appearance, or seeming lack of effort, yet this normal attitude towards fame is what allowed him to stand out in the first place.

He wasn't trying to get attention, he simply became a phenomenon for his musical gift alone. He was relatable, a man of simple taste with a great voice and immense penchant for songwriting. Artists should be able to decide their own looks and style, without their labels, the media or even their fans interfering.

Other humorous online statements are simply trying to dispel all the tension…

Do their outfits say more than we think?

Plenty of female singer-songwriters wear less elaborate, glamorous clothing, such as our new best friend Sigrid, who noticeably wears zero make-up onstage and sports only a plain white t-shirt and jeans.

Perhaps it would be best if we simply allowed artists, not to mention the general society at large, to wear whatever they please without having to worry about the incessant judgement of fans and random Twitter users.

Just a thought?

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Gavin James is known for his love of Whelan's, his stunning voice which produces banger after banger, and his ability to make friends with pretty much anyone.

The singer-songwriter, who has achieved massive chart success at home and abroad with tunes such as Always, Glow and Nervous, from his breakthrough album Bitter Pill back in 2015.

We sat down for a chat with the man himself, who is the new ambassador for the Cadbury Secret Santa campaign, to chat to him about his "f*cking hilarious" father, his home away from home and his favourite celebrities, among other (random) things.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gavin James (@gavinjameslive) on

James has been known for his love and support for charities, especially Down's Syndrome Ireland, so it's not surprising that he's choosing a generous movement like Cadbury Secret Santa to represent this Christmas.

A Dairy Milk gift can be sent anywhere in Ireland for free, either anonymously or personalised, to someone you love. Frankly, that's adorable. After posting the very first Secret Santa gift of the campaign, Gavin speaks about what drew him to Cadbury.

"I have always loved the Secret Santa ritual; the excitement of sending a gift in secret and the anticipation of receiving a gift anonymously – it’s so much fun! My dad is also essentially Santa." After pointing his dad out to me, I had to agree. He was merry with a white beard.

The artist brings his family and friends with him to gigs any chance he gets: “Its good to be able to bring them away with me. Every time I have a gig in Ireland my entire family goes, I brought my dad to a photoshoot today, which is f*cking hilarious.”

Asking him about his early days of gigging in tiny pubs, and dedicated to his then-rock band, he describes why he transitioned into acoustic songwriting, despite still having an intense love for his electric guitar.

"I started off with my mates in Temple Bar, my hair was huge. I was also trying to sing high but I couldn’t sing falsetto when I was younger, I had a raspy voice back then and couldn’t pronounce the letter 's'.I never try to transition, genres just kind of come on their own, I think."

We're glad he found his niche, his musical talent started for him at a very young age, surrounded by musical talent within his own family. His latest album, Only Ticket Home, hit number one in Ireland and has already surpassed a million streams.

He describes his latest offering as a dedication to the art of "simplicity", with most of the songs only having four chords. 

"They're not trying to be smart. There was one song that didn’t make the album because I tried to record it and it just didn’t turn out right. It was the best song I’ve written in a long time, but it sounded too far away from the right sound of the album. I have it in my back pocket for next year though. I found loads of songs in the cloud, I was chuffed."

"There was like 40 but 33 of them were shit. I usually have 100 ideas but one works. The first idea is always the best song. It’s like a buffet, the first thing you look at is always what you want.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gavin James (@gavinjameslive) on

James has toured with some absolutely huge names in music, among them are Ed Sheeran, Niall Horan, Sam Smith and Kodaline, to name a few. With all this talent around him, we have to ask which artists have impressed him the most.

"Bands like Vulfpeck are absolutely insane, they’re so good at playing stuff that I absolutely cannot understand. It’s insane, like Stevie Wonder-esque.”

“Foy Vance sang songs next to me, and his voice starts low and aggressively builds up and I don’t even know how he exists. He’s insane.”“When it comes to Secret Santa gifts, Gavin's already done his bit for fellow musicians… and their skin, apparently. "Sam Smith. I gave him aloe vera before, he loved that. He’s a really nice guy.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sam Smith (@samsmith) on

We're sure Sam would say the same about Gavin, but is there anyone in the industry who he has been disillusioned by, who maybe brushed him off? It's a notoriously tough industry, which requires a thick skin for survival. IT seems James has a level-headed approach to the whole 'fame' thing.

"There are people I don’t want to meet purely because it would ruin how I feel about them, people I totally idolise, sometimes they’re just not in the mood and you don't want to annoy them. Everybody I’ve ever met has been really friendly to me though, but if someone isn’t being nice to me, I’ll tell them. I don’t mind saying that to people. It’s easier to be nice."

"I couldn't meet Ryan Adams because I love him so much, and Bruce Springsteen. He’s meant to be the nicest man in the world. I’d love to meet him but I’d be bricking it. I’d probably just say “thank you, Bruce, for all of these songs.”

"When it comes to growing Irish talent, I love David Keenan. He’s class. His lyrics are amazing. He has a song called Laurence of Arcadia with lyrics like;

“You're looking at the last know bar stool prophet to retire early from the trade, I'm going fishing for pearls of wisdom. I'll be dancing through the pissing rain. You're welcome to join me you annoyance, for I find you quite amusing all the same." It's amazing."

Irish artists have repeatedly found success abroad, yet the UK and US markets are infamously hard to break into. Why have some Irish artists such as U2, The Script, Hozier and now Dermot Kennedy made it big over there, and some slip through the cracks?

“The UK is a tough market. It’s a weird one, like the Netherlands kicked off for me because they love a sad song, and I'm good at those. I brought out a Live at Whelans track, and was told it would reach top of the Dutch charts by Christmas. I didn't believe it, because it was a live recording. Then it went number one in the Netherlands, but no one would think of a live recording doing that.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gavin James (@gavinjameslive) on

His second album, Only Ticket Home, is still distinctly within the style of his debut, and James makes sure that his roots can come across in his lyrics. When he's in Dublin, he loves chilling with his friends in the pub, living out a normal life despite his new-found fame.

Where are his favourite parts of Dublin, and if he had to move, where would he find himself?

“Whelan’s, but I spend most of my time in Temple Bar, even though it’s seven euros a pint.” *shivers*

"Where Doran’s used to be, my mate Robbie owns a little snug next to it, an Irish pub. I always go there because it seems like a little secret spot where I’d just have a pint with my mates.”

“I’ve never been to Coppers. I tried to get in years ago, I think they were closing up. They must have a quota of guys named Gavin or gingers, so I couldn’t get in.” (Can you BELIEVE this Dubliner hasn't stepped foot in the notorious nightclub? We are shook)

“I went on one night out to Nashville to see Ron Pope, and ended up staying there a week.”

“I’d definitely move to Nashville. Very random, it’s musical but it reminds me of Dublin in a lot of ways. I have a lot of friends there, I made a lot of friends there very quickly. It’s cheap too, it’s not f*cking mad, it’s not like Los Angeles. I’m not into L.A. How the hell do people get around there?”

Sounds like this lad has his head screwed on right, that's for sure.

We got two hugs out of him and a Cadbury Secret Santa letter, so we are officially his number one fans.

Only Ticket Home is out now, grab your tickets to see him live in 2019 here.

Don't forget to become a Cadbury Secret Santa and give a little something extra this Christmas- visit www.cadbury.ie/secretsanta and follow all the action on the Cadbury Ireland Facebook and Twitter pages.

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