Are things hotting up between Ed Sheeran and former Fade Street star Louise Johnston?
They've been friends for years but things are hotting up between the singer and reality star Louise Johnston as he prepares to come here for two sell-out gigs, writes Niamh Horan
Ed Sheeran has a new special woman in his life, Irish model Louise Johnston.
The former reality star turned PR woman and Sheeran, who is now one of the world's biggest singer/songwriters, have been friends for years but the Sunday Independent has learned that things are hotting up between them.
Both Louise and Ed are no strangers to their love lives being played out in the public eye.
Louise had cameras follow her personal life for a popular reality television show on RTE in which her romantic life was played out on screen, while Sheeran made headlines worldwide for more than just his music when he was linked to A-listers including Taylor Swift and Ellie Goulding.
Recently, however, he has turned his attention a lot closer to home.
A source told the Sunday Independent: "Louise and Ed have been friends for years but now they have become a lot closer than that.
"They are constantly in touch, even when he is on his world tour but he is coming here soon for a gig in Dublin and they will be able to catch up then.
The source added: "Friends and family now know so it is out there. Louise really cares about him and it's going very well."
The news comes only months after he split from Athina Andrelos after a year of dating. The 24-year-old singer and Athina broke up after the 2015 Brit Awards. The break-up came after a disagreement at the awards after-show party.
Ed famously writes about his love life and channels his emotions into the hits he strums out in front of thousands of people.
The singer, who has sold out Croke Park over two nights at the end of this month, has previously spoken out about the love triangle that inspired his hit song Don't.
At the time, fans speculated the song was about rumoured ex-girlfriend Ellie Goulding and One Direction's Niall Horan. Afterwards Ed refused to comment on the identities of the people involved but he said: "The story [in the song] . . . is 100pc true. I could have gotten nastier - there was more shit that I didn't put in. I was seeing someone for a bit, and then they ended up physically involved with one of my friends in the same hotel that we were staying in, while I was downstairs. And I feel like: 'Treat people how you want to be treated.'"
But it doesn't seem things are likely to turn sour between Ed and Louise any time soon.
As the source explains: "The fact that Louise isn't a big star is helping things move along nicely and she is different to some of the other girls he has been linked to.
"Their friendship has built up over years too so it's not as if Louise is a starry- eyed girl. She knows him well and she knows the real Ed long before he was selling out concert stadiums."
Born in Halifax England, with paternal grandparents hailing from Gorey in Co Wexford, Sheeran has enjoyed phenomenal success in recent years and now has an estimated net worth of €15m. His acclaimed second album, x, recently celebrated over a year in the Irish charts.
The record has remained in the top 10 for 53 weeks and may still be there when he plays in Croke Park on July 24 and 25. The album, which was the biggest selling of last year, hit the number one spot 12 times. It is also the number one streamed album globally.
Louise, who has previously been linked to rugby players Cian Healy and Luke Fitzgerald, works as brand manager..
Meanwhile, concert promoter Peter Aiken has ruled out a third concert for Croke Park, despite the Yorkshire-born singer selling out two concerts at the Dublin venue in less than an hour.
Mr Aiken acknowledged that demand for Sheeran tickets was such that he could have sold out a third concert. Speaking after the sale Mr Aiken said: "[Sheeran's ticket sales are] unbelievable . . . Here was a kid I saw when he was about 19 in Vicar Street, when we sold 1,000 tickets,"
"He was a nice kid, but I've met a lot of nice kids in my time and I would never have foreseen that, in a couple of years' time, he would sell 160,000 tickets in a hour for Croke Park.
"We could have done more Sheeran concerts but there won't be another show, there can't be," he said.
The promoter said that this was because Croke Park is limited to three concerts a year. The Script are already due to play the GAA headquarters on June 20 so there is no chance of a triple for Sheeran fans.