Having sold more than 150 million records globally, with two of the best-selling albums in UK history, and the title of artist of the decade from Official Charts Company, it’s no wonder some of us are curious about the person behind this powerhouse of an artist.
Ed Sheeran’s manager is Stuart Camp, who is the founder of the company Grumpy Old Management. He has managed Sheeran since 2010 when he was originally part of Rocket Music management.
Since Sheeran is one of the biggest artists in the entertainment industry, let’s take a closer look at Camp’s role in his career and his growth in the industry.
From Chicken to Music
Stuart Camp was born in Bishops Stratford but moved to Bury St Edmunds, a market town in Suffolk, England when he was 11 years old.
In an interview with the Eastern Daily Press in 2019, he was asked what he most loved about living in the East of England:
“I don’t get to come back too often – usually only a couple of times a year to see family around Christmas or Easter – so, really it’s a time / period of family gatherings really that East Anglia gives to me.”
Before getting into the music industry, he was part of the food industry, working in a chicken factory.
In the same interview with the Eastern Daily Press, Camp shared that he worked at “Padley’s Chicken Factory in Bury St Eds at 16. Is it still there? Not the place you want to come home from on your first day and find Chicken for dinner (true story).”
Helping Sheeran Become a Superstar
Following his job at the chicken factory, Camp decided to give it a go in the music scene. He landed a job at Rocket Music, a management company that Sir Elton John founded, and began managing then-19-year-old Sheeran.
Sheeran was just at the beginning stages of his career, where he had performed at Jamie Foxx’s club The Foxxhole in Los Angeles and independently released an EP titled No. 5 Collaborations Project.
This EP had given Sheeran his big break, where it reached the No. 2 spot on the iTunes chart and sold 7,000 copies in one week. Before that, he had released 8 other EPs, where only 3 of them had made it to the charts and with low rankings.
In 2011, Sheeran really got his mainstream breakthrough. On a music show called Later… with Jools Holland, he sang his first official single, “The A Team”.
Several weeks after that performance, “The A Team” was launched for digital download only in the UK and sold over 800,000 copies by the end of 2011.
Eventually, the track went global. It secured a spot in the top 10 of charts in Norway, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, among other countries.
Following the success of “The A Team”, Sheeran released other hits like “Lego House” and “Drunk” in 2012. It wasn’t until “Sing” in 2014, though, that he finally got the No. 1 spot on the UK, Australian, Irish, and New Zealand charts.
Things just kept rolling for the laid-back star.
His 2014 album x (which is pronounced like “multiply”) went No. 1 in 9 countries and became the album that was the most streamed on Spotify in 2014. It was certainly a labor of love for the artist, as he had written over 120 different songs for the album and had to narrow it down before release.
It was around this time that Camp had decided to move away from Rocket Music management to create his own company called Grumpy Old Management.
After 5 more years of massive success from Sheeran, Camp shared his views on possible expansion for his management business:
“It’s good being out on our own. We’ve got some staff and we’re settling into that. It’ll be interesting to see whether we start looking at other things to get involved in next year, during a mostly quiet period – at least publicly – on the Sheeran front,” Camp said while speaking to Music Week in 2019.
A Close and Fun-Filled Relationship
Camp and Sheeran appear to have quite a jovial and close relationship, which we’ve seen over the years through images and videos on Sheeran’s Snapchat.
Here’s a picture of the duo, which pretty much sums up their playful relationship:
In the below video, you can see a compilation of some of Sheeran’s Snapchat stories from 2015, where he’s joking around with Camp: