We are sincerely grateful for Ed Sheeran’s presence at our 9th annual gala on Monday, June 8th. His willingness to share his experiences, beliefs surrounding his stuttering, and advice to fellow members of the stuttering community is hugely appreciated.
After the flood of press that has come out following the evening, its clear that media outlets have tended to focus a lot on the more sensational aspects of Ed Sheeran’s remarks, rather than celebrate his overall message. Many of the published stories, for example, have paraphrased that the rapper Eminem cured Sheeran’s stuttering. Sheeran actually shared that he learned every word of one of Eminem’s early albums, and that he believed that for him, rapping quickly and percussively helped him with his stuttering. In his speech and in an interview at the gala, he noted that he still stutters from time to time, and emphasized the importance of “not treating stuttering as an issue… not seeing it as a plight.” He explained, “stuttering is not a thing you have to be worried about.” Sheeran further stressed the importance of self-acceptance, rather than trying to be “cool” or “normal,” stating, “Be yourself, embrace your quirks, being weird is a wonderful thing, and it has been for so many creative people… No one can be a better you than you.”
Here at the American Institute for Stuttering, we agree with Sheeran’ sentiment wholeheartedly. We know that the less one worries about stuttering, the better their speech, and the better their ability to follow their dreams. We thank Ed Sheeran sincerely for his wonderful contributions and inspiration to others who stutter.