Ed Sheeran was worried he'd never make it as a pop star because he was a ''chubby, fat ginger kid''.
The 'Sing' hitmaker has topped the charts in 12 countries with his new album 'X' but when he was an unsigned act he feared his appearance would stop him from being a success in the music industry.
In an interview with Zane Lowe for MTV Music show 'Relentless Ultra Presents Soundchain', he said: ''I wasn't a very marketable person ever. This was point where James Blunt was huge. All labels looking for next singer/songwriter and I was chubby, ginger kid with a small guitar.''
Ed also accepts that his decision to play 'You Need Me, I Don't Need You' - a derisory song about record labels - at many industry meetings probably didn't help his cause.
The musician joked: ''Knockbacks seemed bad at time, but looking back if I'd been at label I'd have knocked myself back then.''
The 'A Team' singer also credits Taylor Swift for his success in the US, admitting Taylor's offer to support her on her sell-out 'Red Tour' introduced him to the wider American audience.
He said: ''[Taylor] owns the US pop scene. She knows how to do it. In England I was a commercially successful artist, but I came to the US as an alternative artist playing shows with Snow Patrol. She not only opened doors for me in the pop world but told me how to do it. You have to do all radio shows at Christmas and do all those sessions. The key is not to lose that.''
'Relentless Ultra Presents Soundchain With Zane Lowe & Ed Sheeran' airs on Sunday (20.07.14) at 9.30pm on MTV Music.