Music bosses, rightly so, should be kicking themselves these days after Ed Sheeran was turned away at their door, time and time again. In a story that confirms just how superficial the music biz really can be, Ed Sheeran, a self-confessed "short chubby ginger white kid with a guitar" describes his journey from an impoverished musician playing gigs for free in front of an empty room to worldwide superstar.

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran: The Singer/Songwriter Persevered & Is Now A Success.

In a video interview with SB.TV designed to encourage young peoples' self-belief, Sheeran speaks of his setbacks in the early days of his career when he struggled to draw fans or attract the attention of record companies. He cites his image as being a key factor that held him back: "The fact that you're chubby and ginger isn't a very good marketing tool...[my] look and songs maybe not being everyone's cup of tea." The Halifax-born singer/guitarist persevered and got his break when he was spotted by actor Jamie Foxx after Sheeran had flown out to L.A on a whim to play some open mic nights.

Ed Sheeran
Sheeran In A Suit: Says His Image Held His Career Back.

Sheeran didn't change himself to unlock the door to his success however, instead of assimilating with the plastic hoardes he stayed true to his own quirky image: "It's very important to stay individual and stay yourself...being an individual makes you stand out from a crowd." Now signed to Asylum/Atlantic record, it's that same image now that evokes adoration from fans the world over, with his 2011 debut album '+' being certified quintuple platinum in only the UK with over five million copies sold. He's now collaborated with Taylor Swift, written songs for One Direction and is noted for his philanthropic work. All this from the bashful redhead who admitted "I'm not good at anything else so I might as well just gig." Take that, suits!