The Irish Arts Center in New York pays tribute to Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran is set to headline the Irish Arts Center’s annual gala in New York later this year, where he will receive an arts and culture award, sources have told IrishCentral.

The Irish Arts Center (IAC), founded in 1972, is a New York-based arts and culture center dedicated to projecting a vibrant image of Ireland and Irish America for the 21st century. Late last year, the IAC unveiled its long-awaited new facility at 726 11th Avenue, just days before its annual ‘Spirit of Ireland’ gala was to take place at Cipriani on 42nd Street.

Details of this year’s Irish Arts Center gala have yet to be officially announced, although sources have confirmed Sheeran is expected to be honoured.

The news comes shortly after the Grammy winner was among the patrons of the London Irish Center which was awarded the Freedom of the City of London last month.

On receiving the honour, Sheeran said: “I think everyone knows how much I love London and how much it’s been part of my musical journey. So to receive the freedom of the city today is something special. really special.”

He added: “Given my family’s Irish heritage, receiving the award from London’s first Irish Lord Mayor, Vincent Keaveny, and alongside friends from the London Irish Centre, is a bonus.”

Sheeran, 31, is in the midst of his major international ‘Mathematics’ tour, which he kicked off with two nights at Dublin’s Croke Park, followed by shows in Cork, Limerick and Belfast.

Although British, Sheeran is very close to his Irish roots. “Technically I’m half Irish as my grandfather is from Northern Ireland and my grandmother from the south,” the singer-songwriter said in a 2011 interview.

He said in a later interview for the BBC’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ podcast series: “I come from an Irish family, I spent most of my childhood summers, birthdays and Christmases in Ireland listening to traditional music groups.

Sheeran’s Irish roots and time spent in Ireland influenced his chart topping music and in 2016 he recorded his hit song ‘Thinking Out Loud’ in Irish for the ‘CEOL 2016’ album.

The Irish influence is most evident on her album “Divide”, which includes her version of “Galway Girl”, which featured Irish folk band Beoga and featured Saoirse Ronan in the accompanying video, as well as her song “Nancy Mulligan”, about her Irish grandmother.

As Sheeran embraces both old and new Irish music, he faced quite a bit of criticism earlier this year for his take on Luke Kelly’s classic ‘Raglan Road’, which he performed live alongside Joy Crookes. for BBC Two’s “Jools’ Annual Hootenanny 2021”. New Year’s Eve program. Subsequently, John Sheahan of The Dubliners invited Sheeran to “properly” record the iconic song.

William E. Bennett