Despite hearing “Bad Habits” on the radio at least twice a day, I know very little about Ed Sheeran, but I found myself unexpectedly charmed by Brian Hiatt’s interview with him for Rolling Stone. Sheeran comes across as a genuinely nice guy — and one who has had to deal with a tremendous amount of loss.

Sheeran isn’t afraid to say what he means in his songs, at nearly all times. If he’s grown up and is a father now, he sings, “I have grown up/I am a father now” — the opening line of 2021’s =. His use of metaphor is sparing. He loves Van Morrison, but if Sheeran wrote a song called “Listen to the Lion,” it would probably be about a trip to the zoo, and a Top Five worldwide hit to boot.