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everyone wants this walnut to bring back the red flannel and I’m still shook over blue

Ed Sheeran’s First Date with Girlfriend Was Taylor Swift’s July 4 Party: ‘You’re Like, “Holy F—, I Know Everyone Here!”‘

Did Ed Sheeran‘s girlfriend get longtime friend Taylor Swift‘s stamp of approval? Yes — and then some! “Well, our anniversary is her 4th of July party,” Sheeran, 26, tells PEOPLE of risk advisory consultant Cherry Seaborn, 24, whom he began dating in the summer of 2015 after Swift hosted them at her famous Independence Day fête at her Rhode Island home. “I’ve known Cherry since I was 11,” adds the “Shape of You” singer — whose third album ÷ debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — of his girlfriend. “She worked on Wall Street in New York, and I had like six shows [around New York in 2015].” “It was around then, and we reconnected. I went on tour again, and then I went to Taylor’s 4th of July party. I was texting [Seaborn], and she was like, ‘I’m in Rhode Island at a 4th of July party,’ and I was like, ‘So am I.’ I kinda said to Taylor, ‘Can I invite one of my old schoolmates?’ The rest is history.” Indeed, last summer, Sheeran and Seaborn celebrated their one-year anniversary at Swift’s 2016 soirée, as documented by Swift’s childhood pal Abigail Anderson on Instagram. Swift’s annual summer bashes have fueled headlines the past few years, with squad members from Karlie Kloss and Blake Lively to Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne descending on her estate for the holiday weekend. “It’s just a load of like-minded people that you would never expect to see in the same place, together,” Sheeran says of the parties. “I found myself chatting to Ryan Reynolds for a long time, and I did not expect to see him there. [Taylor]’s kind of a magnet for like-minded people, and they’re always super-sweet. Anyone that’s around her is very, very nice. It’s a fun party. But it’s a lot of stories. You walk in, and you’re like, ‘Holy f—! I know everyone in here!’ It’s cool.” In addition to providing a space for Sheeran’s relationship to blossom, Swift and Seaborn have become friends themselves, the “Castle on the Hill” singer says. “Her and Taylor have hung out without me quite a few times; I think they have gal chats,” he says. “I don’t know what they get up to, talking about cats or whatever.”

Carbone - have you been there? - does like some vodka rigatoni that’s [explosion noise] bangin’. They made me a t-shirt ‘cause I ate the most portions of pasta that they’ve ever seen. I was like, 'Give me six portions of the vodka rigatoni in one big bowl,’ and they were like, 'You’re not gonna eat that,’ and was like, 'I’ll show you.’ And then I was eating it, and all the waiters like kept coming out to look and check if I was like sharing it. And I wasn’t. And I finished it and then had a cheesecake, and they made me a– They’re gonna like make it a challenge.
—  Ed Sheeran on his favorite place to eat in New York, October 1, 2017. [x]
All the biggest artists I know still do it. Taylor, whenever she releases an album, all the fucking radio stations in America get a signed plaque dedicated to them, or something like that, and she will meet and greet them and remember all their names. She does it, but some artists just don’t fucking do it at all - and it still works for them, but eventually, when the day arrives that it doesn’t work, the radios will just stop playing them because there’s no loyalty or love there.
—  Ed Sheeran on why he is a big believer in doing lots of promotion surrounding releases (Clash Magazine, 17 April 2017)