Ed Sheeran has released a music video planned by his late friend Jamal Edwards, who died at the age of 31 before the video could be made.
The Shape Of You singer collaborates with US rapper Russ on the track Are You Entertained.
Sharing a clip of the video with his 39.6 million Instagram followers, Sheeran, 31, wrote a lengthy post explaining how the collaboration first came about and why it was important to him to bring Edwards’ “vision to life”.
After meeting Russ in a restaurant, Sheeran said the pair bonded over “pasta and wine”, later writing the song together over email.
Sheeran said he then “hit up” Edwards for music video ideas “knowing that he would create something incredible”.
Music entrepreneur and YouTube star Edwards was the founder of online urban music platform SBTV – which helped launch artists including Sheeran, Dave and Jessie J come to prominence.
He died in February at his home in Acton, west London, “due to a cardiac arrhythmia caused by having taken recreational drugs”, his mother Brenda Edwards confirmed following an inquest into his death.
‘Jamal was trying to make it the best video any of us could make’
Sheeran went on to describe Edward’s hard work in putting the video together: “Jamal then planned it out for the next couple of months, sending me locations, ideas, cameos, trying to make it the best video any of us could make.
“We were meant to shoot in February, but the day before Russ flew out, Jamal tragically died. Our whole world was upside down, and I had to cancel and just tell Russ it wasn’t happening, but he was so, so understanding, to a level I’ll never forget.
“Jamal’s mum @brendaedwardsglobal and sister Tanisha, a few weeks later said we should still try and make Jamal’s vision come to life, so with the help of his amazing production team at @radicalmedialondon and @jakenava directing, we shot it.”
Sheeran said he “felt so sad” shooting on the day but at the same time “very proud”.
He continued: “I wish Jam was here to see it, I wish we’d done it together, but he would be buzzing how all his people came together and brought his vision to life.”
Sheeran thanked Russ for being “such an amazing human”, adding: “Jamal lives on forever.”
Russ also shared a clip of the video on his Instagram page, paying tribute to both Edwards and Edwards’ mother Brenda, who he called “a warrior of love and light”.
The rapper said he was “beyond grateful that all of y’all let me be a part of something so special”.
Following Edwards’ death earlier this year, Sheeran paid tribute to him, calling him his “brother” and crediting him with his own success, saying: “I would not be here without him”.
Edwards was also an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity headed up by the Prince of Wales, and in 2014 was made an MBE for his services to music.