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Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift attends The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
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Ed Sheeran is riding high on the successful release of his first two singles off of upcoming album Divide—but he wasn’t born a widely liked “hit” as a person. On the contrary, in a new interview with British GQ, the fire-haired singer-songwriter explained what drives him: unpopularity. And Sheeran says that’s also what has made fellow music juggernaut Taylor Swift eager to get to the top, too.

“There’s an underdog element to it. Taylor [Swift] was never the popular kid in school. I was never the popular kid in school. Then you get to the point when you become the most popular kid in school – and we both take it a bit too far,” he explained. Sheeran is a known Swift squad member; she even recently helped promote his new music.

“She wants to be the biggest female artist in the world and I want to be the biggest male artist in the world,” he told the magazine of their equally strong ambitions. “It also comes from always being told that you can’t do something and being like, ‘F–k you. I can.’”

They certainly seem to be achieving their popularity dreams this year, with Swift’s new music video raking up the views and Sheeran’s songs sitting pretty on top of charts.

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