I was lost early on, now I'm in a wonderful place - Sheeran
Ed Sheeran has said he "lost himself" earlier in his career and revealed his cousin threatened to quit working on his tour if he did not rein in his wild lifestyle.
The chart-topper, whose album 'Divide' has spent a ninth week at number one, has frequently used his autobiographical music to sing about drinking and drug use.
He told BBC Radio 4's 'Desert Island Discs' he initially found it difficult to be alone in the spotlight.
"I don't think I did deal very well with it. It's a weird thing, playing a venue like Wembley Stadium with 87,000 people and walking off to sit in a dressing room with nothing but an air conditioning sound, you don't really know how to come down from there," he said.
Asked if it was someone telling him to "stop it with the girls and the drugs and the booze", Sheeran (26) said: "Yeah it was my cousin actually, who worked on the tour and who basically said he was leaving if it didn't calm down."
Sheeran admitted he found the critical reviews of his first album '+' very hard to take, saying: "All the reviews came in before the album was on sale and they were all one or two stars saying 'this is absolute dross'.
"They kind of crushed me because I wanted to be a successful musician and all the papers I read reviews in had slated it, so I got really down for the week.
"Then the album came out and did 102,000 in week one.
"My main goal for my career was to do 100,000 albums and play Shepherd's Bush and the week the album came out it sold 100,000 and I played Shepherd's Bush, and I was there looking at these bad reviews and had just achieved my dream within a week and was thinking I shouldn't focus on what other people think of me."
Sheeran said he is now in a "wonderful place", adding: "I'm loving it. I'm now at an age where I get taken seriously musically, which has always been a burden on my shoulders.
"Now if you don't like it, you still have to kind of respect that other people do.
"When I first said I want to play Wembley, everyone was like: 'You're never going to do that', but now I've done that and no one laughs at my dreams any more."