Ed Sheeran Takes Break From Tour To Perform Acoustic Version Of “Eyes Closed” On ‘American Idol’

Ed Sheeran also served as a guest judge on American Idol.


Music Mayhem


Posted on May 8, 2023

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Ed Sheeran; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

Ed Sheeran took a break from the Mathematics Tour to deliver a stripped version of his latest single “Eyes Closed” on American Idol.

On Sunday evening (May 7), the worldwide superstar took to the iconic Idol stage for the live television debut of his newest song. 

“Just dancin’ with my eyes closed / ‘Cause everywhere I look, I still see you / And time is movin’ so slow / And I don’t know what else that I can do / So I’ll keep dancin’ with my Eyes Closed,” Sheeran sang on the chorus. 

Watch Ed Sheeran Perform “Eyes Closed” On American Idol Below

YouTube video

In addition to performing “Eyes Closed,” Ed Sheeran also served as a guest judge on Idol.

Alanis Morissette And Ed Sheeran Temporarily Replaced Katy Perry And Lionel Richie

Ed Sheeran; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC
Ed Sheeran; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

Ed Sheeran and Alanis Morissette are temporarily replacing Katy Perry and Lionel Richie while they are in England performing as part of the Coronation Celebration for King Charles III. 

“I can’t wait to guide you through this stage of the competition and career and yeah this is the first time I’ve done this on American Idol, I can’t wait to take the iconic American Idol stage,” Sheeran previously shared. “Mostly, I’m just looking forward to meeting all of you and talking through life and music and I hope you’re having a great time and I’ll see you very, very soon. Lots of love.”

“I am so excited to be mentoring and hearing your interpretations of my songs. I can’t wait to hear them and surprise I’m going to be guest judging with Luke as well. So I can’t wait to see you,” Morissette previously added.

YouTube video

Perry and Richie made a brief appearance during Idol with a video from Windsor Castle.

“Eyes Closed” Appears On Ed Sheeran’s New Album – (Subtract)

Co-written by Ed Sheeran alongside Max Martin, Shellback and Fred Again, “Eyes Closed” appears on Sheeran’s fifth studio album, – (Subtract), which arrived on May 5. 

– (Subtract) is an album of despair, grief and hope and all of the songs on the project were written after working through a really difficult period in his life. 

“Writing songs is my therapy. It helps me make sense of my feelings. I wrote without thought of what the songs would be, I just wrote whatever tumbled out. And in just over a week, I replaced a decade’s worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts,” he added. 

Ed Sheeran; Photo Provided
Ed Sheeran; Photo Provided

“Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumor, with no route to treatment until after the birth,” he shared, referring to Cherry Seaborn whom he shares two children with. 

The 32-year-old hitmaker continued, “My best friend Jamal, a brother to me, died suddenly and I found myself standing in court defending my integrity and career as a songwriter,” he recalled, referencing a plagiarism lawsuit concerning his No. 1 hit “Shape Of You.” “I was spiraling through fear, depression and anxiety. I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air.”

His Most Vulnerable Album To Date

Sheeran also shared that this is one of his most vulnerable albums to date lyrically. 

“For the first time I’m not trying to craft an album people will like, I’m merely putting something out that’s honest and true to where I am in my adult life. This is last February’s diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is Subtract,” he said. 

Produced by Aaron Dessner, the project features 14 tracks, including his current single “Boat” and the fan-favorite tunes “Curtains,” “Life Goes On,” “Dusty,” “End Of Youth,” “Salt Water” and more. 

Ed Sheeran 'Subtract -' Album Art
Ed Sheeran ‘Subtract -‘ Album Art

“I had been working on Subtract for a decade, trying to sculpt the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear vision of what I thought it should be. Then at the start of 2022, a series of events changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art,” Sheeran previously shared of the project. 

– (Subtract) concludes his mathematical albums era and follows + (Plus), x (Multiply), ÷ (Divide) and = (Equal). 

The Mathematics Tour

Additionally, Ed Sheeran is currently embarking on his massive North American stadium tour, known as the “+ – = ÷ x Tour” a.k.a. “The Mathematics Tour.”

The trek kicked off in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium on May 6 and is set to run through September 23, where The Mathematics Tour will wrap up in Inglewood, CA at SoFi Stadium.

Special guests Khalid (May 6 ­– Sept. 2), Russ (Sept. 9 – 23), Dylan, Rosa Linn, Cat Burns, and Maisie Peters will appear on select dates of the trek.

The tour, which is Sheeran’s first North American trek since his much-anticipated 2018 Divide Tour, marks the hitmakers first stateside concerts in nearly five years.

Ed Sheeran; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC
Ed Sheeran; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

Ed Sheeran 2023 North American Tour Dates

May 13 – Houston, TX @ NRG Stadium

May 20 – Tampa, FL @ Raymond James Stadium

May 27 – Atlanta, GA @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium

June 3 – Philadelphia, PA @ Lincoln Financial Field

June 10 – East Rutherford, NJ @ MetLife Stadium

June 17 – Toronto, ON @ Rogers Centre

June 24 – Landover, MD @ FedExField

July 1 – Foxborough, MA @ Gillette Stadium

July 8 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Acrisure Stadium

July 15 – Detroit, MI @ Ford Field

July 22 – Nashville, TN @ Nissan Stadium

July 29 – Chicago, IL @ Soldier Field

Aug. 5 – Kansas City, MO @ GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium

Aug. 12 – Minneapolis, MN @ U.S. Bank Stadium

Aug. 19 – Denver, CO @ Empower Field at Mile High

Aug. 26 – Seattle, WA @ Lumen Field

Sept. 2 – Vancouver, BC @ BC Place

Sept. 9 – Las Vegas, NV @ Allegiant Stadium

Sept. 16 – Santa Clara, CA @ Levi’s Stadium

Sept. 23 – Inglewood, CA @ SoFi Stadium

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