Let's get one thing straight: Ed Sheeran is a freaking god (we mean that in the most unbiased, no-we-don't-listen-to-his-entire-discography-all-day-every-day way possible). And, like a god, he has bestowed upon us gifts from the heavens, gifts that transcend all genres of music and bring us to our knees with their beauty. Gifts like his cover songs.
While Ed Sheeran's own tunes are enough to leave us weeping (real talk: the "lumiere darling" bridge of "Tenerife Sea" is so jaw-droppingly stunning it should be illegal) there is something about the way that he is able to take an artist's hit song — and we're talking everything from pop-punk to country to jazz to R&B — and make it so uniquely Ed.
It was damn near impossible to rank this list due to the sheer magnitude of Ed Sheeran's talent, and the fact that we stan so hard for every little thing that he does. But we pushed through (as if listening to every Ed Sheeran cover ever is any kind of struggle) and ultimately came out on top. Victory.
Check out the PopCrush ranking of Ed Sheeran's 10 best covers below!
"Cruise" - Florida Georgia Line
You wouldn't necessarily expect that a British singer-songwriter could slay the pants off a country song, but that's only because you weren't thinking of Ed Sheeran (and in that case, you shouldn't even be reading this).
While the song is not inherently sexy (it's more of a windows-down, road trip, sing-it-at-the-top-of-your-lungs kind of jam), Ed Sheeran turns the track into several bars' worth of sultry goodness. In fact, we love Ed's all-too-short cover of "Cruise" so much that we'll even forgive him for the cringeworthy verse he flips at the end.
"Dirrty" - Christina Aguilera
There is something so endearing about Ed Sheeran singing songs filled with euphemisms and less-than-subtle innuendos (see: the rest of this list). That's partly because he blushes throughout the whole thing and partly because he manages to make the tracks sound like the most romantic love songs ever written.
Such is the case with his playful cover of Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty." This is one of the many top-tier covers Ed did for BBC Radio 1, so we basically owe them our first-born.
"We Found Love" - Rihanna
Ed's version of Rihanna's "We Found Love" is noteworthy for the way he takes the upbeat, this-is-my-jam-when-it-comes-on-in-the-club-at-3-AM track and transforms it into a poignant, heartfelt ballad about hope and true love.
"The Parting Glass" - Irish Traditional
"The Parting Glass" — a traditional Irish parting song — is the hidden track on Ed's debut album +, but we think it's way too beautiful to stay hidden. Ed's soulful voice fits the hauntingly poignant tune like a glove, and our only complaint is that it's not longer (please be longer). This is one that takes Ed back to his Irish ancestry — and it takes us to church, to borrow a phrase from another cover lower down on this list.
"She Looks So Perfect" - 5 Seconds of Summer
5 Seconds of Summer, in part, got their start by covering some of Ed Sheeran's songs and uploading them to YouTube. (We highly recommend their versions of "Give Me Love" and "The A-Team.") So the fact that Ed covered their hit is not only totally meta, it's straight-up kickass. Once again, the British crooner channels all of that immense talent and manages to create a stunning ballad out of the insanely catchy pop-punk jam as only Ed Sheeran can.
"Stay With Me" - Sam Smith
God bless Ed Sheeran's cover of "Stay With Me." Because if Sam Smith isn't singing the tune, the only other artist who should be doing so is Ed Sheeran. The gospel choir is just an added bonus.
"Be My Husband" - Nina Simone
Any time Ed breaks out the loop pedal, you know you're in for a treat. The way he layers his own vocals (vocals on vocals on vocals!) and instrumentals is mesmerizing enough, but he could sing jazz legend Nina Simone's "Oh daddy now, now, love me good" on repeat for the rest of his career and we'd be 100% satisfied.
"Take Me to Church" - Hozier
Ed Sheeran covering Hozier is the kind of unimaginable bliss you only get to witness a few times in your life. While Hozier's original is undoubtedly pure perfection on its own, Ed's version just takes it into the stratosphere. "Take Me to Church" is literally the kind of music that Ed Sheeran was born to sing: It's the power of "Give Me Love," a hundred-fold.
Ed Sheeran's cover of "Pony" comes in at No. 2, and let us tell you that this was a real nail-biter of a decision — it was just one or two blush-worthy lines away from landing the top spot.
Ginuwine's "Pony" is a no-holds-barred, explicit song about wanting to get it on. Ed Sheeran makes it sound like a straight-up sexual symphony.
"Drunk in Love" - Beyonce
Watching Ed Sheeran cover Beyonce's "Drunk in Love" is practically a religious experience. This one cover embodies every single one of Ed's strongest qualities: His uncanny ability to flip a track and give it that trademark Ed Sheeran sound, his penchant for R&B (complete with his fast-spittin' Jay Z rap), the way his cheeks flush when he sings "surfboardt," and the fact that the sounds that come out of his mouth could make a grown man weep.