Ed Sheeran’s earnings make him world’s highest paid solo artist

Ed Sheeran has been named as the highest-earning solo artist, taking in an estimated £83m last year.

The singer-songwriter earned more than fellow pop stars Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, according to Forbes’ new World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities “rich list”.

It means Sheeran has jumped 62 places from last year, placing ninth on the full list of top-earning celebrities such as Coldplay and U2, along with football stars Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo.

He was the most-streamed artist of last year thanks to his third album Divide, which was powered by hits including lead single “Shape of You”, “Castle on the Hill”, “Galway Girl” and “Perfect”.

It was also revealed that the star payed more tax than corporate giants Amazon and Starbucks – despite the companies making £162m and £2 billion respectively in the UK.

The figures show that the singer paid £5.29 million tax, in contrast to the £4.5 million payed by Amazon and £3.3 million paid by Starbucks.

Although Starbucks pays more tax through separate subsidiaries, a spokesperson stated that, “Starbucks paid £13.7m in tax in the UK in 2017 at an effective rate of 25.3%”.

Sheeran was recently criticised after he won planning permission to build  anti-homeless railings outside his £8m home in London.

The singer, who has often spoken about his experiences of sleeping rough when he was trying to make it as an artist, was given the green light to install pedestrian gates and cast iron railings outside his home in Kensington and Chelsea.

According to a document submitted by his planning agent, the gates and railings will “prevent opportunities for rough sleeping”.

Responding to initial reports of the planning application earlier this year, Sheeran claimed the story was “bulls**t” and called out The Sun for reporting it.

“I have done lots of work in the past for Crisis and Shelter and would never build railings outside my home for that reason,” he wrote on Instagram. “The reason was to keep the paps that you employ from being on my doorstep.”

I'm a final year English Language and Literature student at the University of Leeds with a love of music. I bring music into every facet of my life, from getting the Leeds Griffins Quidditch Team pumped pre-game as their President, to writing music for small film projects with friends, it is the one constant in everything I do. I've previously worked with the BBC, Disney, Amazon Studios and looking to see where my love of music can take me once I graduate this year.

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