Ed Sheeran has opened up about a speech impediment he suffered from during his childhood, and how Eminem’s music helped him conquer it.

In his cover story with Rolling Stone, the record breaking singer-songwriter spoke openly about his early upbringing in Suffolk, where he was made fun of for being bad at sports, for his red hair – and, most of all, for his stutter.

“You’d put your hand up and not be able to speak. And kids are cruel,” he revealed to Rolling Stone.

“So once that would happen, someone would imitate it. And then you’d be like, ‘I’m not going to put my hand up next time.’ ”

My first Rolling Stone cover, everywhere friday x

A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on

The British crooner went on to explain how he overcame his stammer by listening to rap icon Eminem. Sheeran credits rapping along to the Detroit lyricist’s Marshall Mathers LP, which ultimately changed his life.

The album housed hiphop classic ‘Stan’, ‘The Real Slim Shady’ and ‘The Way I Am,’ although he didn’t reveal specifically which track helped him most.

Ed went on to detail his father’s advice on dealing with bullies: “He said, ‘Anytime anyone picks on you, hit him as hard as you can and they will never rip into you again.’

Check out the full cover story here and revisit Ed covering Eminem’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ below.

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