Inspired by an interview with James Morrison in which the pop crooner claimed to have played 200 gigs in a year, budding singer songwriter Ed Sheeran went on a frantic mission to beat that feat. Cutting his teeth in front of handfuls of people, he finished 2009 having played 312 shows, including a support slot for Just Jack. His next adventure led him to Los Angeles, where he was spotted at an open mic night by Hollywood actor Jamie Foxx who invited him to stay at his house and record. A series of self-released tracks led to a keen internet following, before Sheeran's fifth EP No 5 Collaborations Project (2011) featured rappers Wiley, Sway and Ghetts and shot to Number 2 on the iTunes chart. His single The A Team became an even bigger hit, reaching Number 3 in the UK, followed by debut album + (2011) heading straight to Number 1. The red-headed folk pop star also counts Elton John, Rio Ferdinand and Example as big fans. Sheeran started 2012 by winning two BRIT Awards for British Male Solo Artist and Breakthrough Act.