Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All review: Intimate and heartbreaking

Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All explores the private life and the most challenging year of the international pop star Ed Sheeran. The documentary series is streaming on Disney+.


Ed Sheeran says someone like him, who is specky, has ginger hair, is really short, and stutters and beatboxes, doesn’t become a pop star. Here he is today, with four successful music albums, playing sold-out stadiums, and singing with artists like 50 Cent and Eminem.

With his upcoming fifth album Subtract on its way, Ed Sheeran opens the door to his private life and what becomes the most unexpected and challenging year of his life, away from the success he has.

The documentary explores the hardships the singer went through as his wife got diagnosed with cancer while she was six months pregnant. It was followed by the loss of his friend, Jamal Edwards, who helped him break out in his early days.


The docuseries stays away from what Ed Sheeran’s upcoming album is all about, just like he claims at the start of it. It is rather an exploration of the love the artist and his people are surrounded with and what happens when grief strikes them.

Sheeran’s wife, Cherry, says that the pop star wants to be seen as more than just a hit-making machine; he wants to be seen as a son, father, friend, and husband, and the documentary kind of succeeds in showing that side of him.

Even the conversations are quite personal, and Sheeran and his friends and family don’t hold back from expressing their feelings the way they want. They even discuss on screen how they should address some revelations.

The viewers get to see Ed Sheeran break down, not just live on the stage but also in behind-the-scenes footage when he loses the friend who gave him a chance when the record labels won’t.

Lastly, the docuseries doesn’t waste time by exploring Sheeran’s up-and-coming years, which the majority of his fans and even regular music enthusiasts already know about.


It’s evident that Sheeran wanted to make this docuseries about his personal life, but making a documentary on a musician and not touching the musical aspect at all isn’t that great of a choice.

There are a few heartfelt performances, and Sheeran explains what inspires his music. Still, if not all, the docuseries should have touched on some of the work that went into making Subtract, which will be coming out this Friday.

In the docuseries, Sheeran also contradicts himself. In one of the scenes, he says that he doesn’t care whether people like his album or not, although primarily in the entire docuseries, it feels like he is chasing the next number one.


Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All is more of a docu-series about who Ed Sheeran is as a person than as a musician. It is packed with emotions, wholesomeness, and grief that will please music fans and regular fans alike, making the documentary a warm and fuzzy watch.

Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All
Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All review: Intimate and heartbreaking 1

Director: David Soutar

Date Created: 2023-05-03 12:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now review: Intimate look at artistic struggles & vulnerabilities

More from The Envoy Web