Ed Sheeran was told he needed to dye his hair black and give up rapping if he wanted to make it in the music industry.
Sheeran's manager Stuart Camp has revealed that the Grammy-winning singer was told by his first management company that he would be more successful if he got rid of his distinctive red hair and overhauled his sound - ditching his trademark loop pedal and rapping.
Camp, who guided Sheeran's rise to fame after taking over from his previous team in 2011, said: "The other management actually resigned from him because they said he wasn't going anywhere.
"He had to drop the looping pedal, dye his hair black and give up the rapping."
Sheeran, who has sold over 150 million records worldwide, is currently taking a break from making music following the birth of his daughter Lyra with wife Cherry Seaborn last month.
But Camp explained to the Straight Up podcast it seems plans are already in place for Sheeran's next album. He said: "We've started recording now. We’ll probably put a record out this time next year.
"I’m looking at a piece of paper that actually has the tracklisting for the album after the next one on it. He’s always one or two albums ahead."