The "Shape of You" pop star shared the story during a recent appearance on the Howard Stern Show. He recalled going to speech therapy as a young boy to combat his stuttering before his uncle gifted him Eminem's landmark 2000 project.
"I was going through all sorts of speech therapy," he explained during the chat. "When I was nine, my uncle bought me The Marshall Mathers LP, and he just said to my dad, ‘This guy’s the next Bob Dylan, you gotta let him listen.'"
“My dad didn’t really clock it. He was just like, ‘Okay, Edward’s gonna go and listen to that.’ And by learning that record and rapping it back to back to back to back, it cured my stutter. And I stopped... talking like that."
Two decades later, Sheeran developed a collaborative relationship with Eminem, who last year enlisted Ed to cover Marshall Mathers LP standout "Stan" at the Detroit rapper's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
"Years later, I've made songs with Eminem now and we've gotten to know each other pretty well," Sheeran said. "And he asked me to play 'Stan' with him at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I remember getting the call to do it... and I'm shooting 14 music videos back-to-back. It was on my day off from shooting the music videos and I was like, I can't say no."
He continued, "I think it's different with Eminem because he is quite reclusive, doesn't see or meet that many people. I've known him now six years and we've done three songs together, I've played with him twice on stage. He's another person I really relate to, as he lives in his hometown still and has his ecosystem around him."
It's not the first time that Sheeran has spoken about Eminem's album helping him overcome his stutter. He also recalled the story in 2015 while accepting a speech at the American Institute for Stuttering’s Free Voices Changing Lives Benefit Gala.
“I learned every word of it back to front by the time I was 10,” Sheeran said at the time, per ABC News. “And he raps very fast and very melodically and very percussively and it helped me get rid of the stutter.”
The singer also shared the story during a recent appearance on Live with Kelly and Mark.