Ed Sheeran has revealed that Elton John calls him “every day” since the death of Australian music industry legend Michael Gudinski. 

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s ‘First Listen’ event for his new album Equals, Ed Sheeran said Elton John knew he “really wasn’t good” after Gudinski passed away unexpectedly in March.

“[John] didn’t ring me every day before. Like, he rang me quite a bit to check up on [Sheeran’s daughter] Lyra, he’s got two kids and he loves seeing parents and blah, blah, blah… but when Michael passed away he rang me the day after to check how I was and I really wasn’t good,” he said.

He continued: “then just from that point he’s literally ringing me every single day. I mean, at first it was just to check up on me and now it’s kind of just become part of a daily routine, I’m sort of feeding porridge to Lyra, got a call from Elton, say hi to Lyra, it’s just become a daily thing. There’s not many people in my life like that and, yeah, I really, really appreciate him.”

Sheeran continued on to open up about the process of writing ‘Visiting Hours’ the song he performed at Gudinski’s memorial service.

He began: “Anthony Clemons had sent me a song called ‘Visiting Hours.’ It was a completely different song. I remember pressing play and one of the lines in it ‘I wish heaven had visiting hours.’ I thought that was a clever thing. I contacted him and I said ‘Do you mind if I take that line, find inspiration, and create a song from it,’ and he said ‘Go for it.'”

“That was the start of it. The end of it was feeling just, you know, like, I’ve felt grief before because my grandparents passed away and I feel like when your grandparents pass away you’re expecting it because it’s just a thing, people who are old eventually die and that’s just part of life. But this was, like, different I just, like, woke up one morning at 4:00 in the morning with a call from Michael’s son telling me and then that was that. I wasn’t going to speak to him again and that was something I just had to deal with,” he continued.

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“And I went back to that line, I remember I heard being, like, “I wish heaven had visiting hours.” I remember thinking “Man, I’m sure I’m going to process this and eventually I’m going to find peace with it,” but something that would help me find more peace with it is if I could just have five minutes with him, and to go up there and be, “Hey, man I know I’m not going to see you for a very, very long time but this, this, this, this, and I love you, I’ll see you when I’ll see you,” and that was a way of just writing a tune that’s about acceptance in grief but also just having the door a tiny bit ajar so you can wave goodbye.”

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Check out ‘Visiting Hours’ by Ed Sheeran:

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