Ed Sheeran has announced he is releasing a new album in October and that it was inspired by recent experiences such as getting married and having a baby.
The Shape Of You singer went live on Instagram to tell fans that his fourth studio album, = (Equals), would be out on 29 October.
He told fans he had painted part of the cover himself in lockdown and that the theme was “new life”.
“You will have seen the little chrysalis cocoon that’s on there,” said the star, who wed Cherry Seaborn in 2019 and welcomed daughter Lyra Antarctica last year.
“Basically the symbolism behind the album is sort of new life."
Sheeran, whose last studio album was 2017's Divide, went on: “You know, I’ve been through over the four years, different experiences in life including getting married, having a kid, losing a friend, and I just felt like the butterfly symbolism fit in with that.”
The song contains 14 tracks, but Sheeran said he had a lot more that could have been included.
He said it had been a “painstaking process” whittling the songs down.
“I love it," he said of the album.
"I think it’s the best bit of work that I’ve done."
The star later added on Instagram that he started working on Equals in 2017 and that it had been a "long, long process".
He said he'd been through "love, loss, new life, grief and everything in between" while he was working on it.
"It's really a coming of age record," he said.
Fans were thrilled to hear that a new album is on the way, with many flocking to the comments section of Sheeran’s Instagram to express their excitement.
“Soooo excited!” posted one, while another predicted: “Album is gonna be awesome.”
“Love the title! Feels like it fits just right for this time in your life,” said another.
"Could I be more excited????" asked another.
Watch: Ed Sheeran using mobile phone for first time in four years