Ed Sheeran first penned a Rated R version of “Love Yourself” for Rihanna.
Justin Bieber struck gold when Ed Sheeran passed off the Grammy nominated song, but he actually played second fiddle to BadGalRiri.
In a new interview with Howard Stern on SiriusXM, the Divide singer reveals he had Rihanna in mind for the track, and the lyrics weren’t as delicate: ‘If you like the way you look that much, well baby you should go and f**k yourself.’
Sheeran said, “hearing Rihanna, kind of like coming in with a bit of that swag… Rihanna could get away with saying, ‘You should go and f**k yourself.’ I was like, ‘If anyone was going to finish this song, it should be her.’”
Ed added he never got around to showing Rihanna the track – which he of course graciously gave to the Biebs. “It kind of came at a zeitgeist time for his career, where he had fallen out of grace with the public, and he had this comeback song that was quite grown up,” Sheeran said.
Amazed, Stern asks Ed how he could have ditched such a massive song. The thing is… Ed had no idea “Love Yourself” would make such an impact. “I was like, ‘I don’t think it’s that much of a hit,'” he said. “I really don’t know what a hit is and what isn’t. In my mind, if I connect with a song from a heart level, then it must be a hit, but that isn’t always like the case.”
Listen to the interview below: