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Ed Sheeran sets stage on fire at Mumbai concert; Diljit Dosanjh and Armaan Malik jam along


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MUMBAI: Thousands gathered to catch a glimpse of Ed Sheeran, who set the stage on fire with his electrifying concert here, which also saw the British music sensation perform with Indian artists Diljit Dosanjh and Armaan Malik.

Sheeran, who arrived in India on March 12 as part of the Indian leg of his "+ - = ÷ x Tour", regaled music aficionados for two-and-half hours and sang over 30 songs at the jam-packed Mahalaxmi Race Course grounds in South Mumbai on Saturday night.

The Grammy winner said he was happy to be back in the country.

He first visited India in 2015 and then performed at a concert in 2017.

"I know India is a big place but everyone here at the concert is not necessarily from Mumbai. People have travelled a long way to be here today. People got on trains, planes, they drove, and got kids. I know a lot goes in you spending your Saturday night with me. I did not take this for granted, I appreciate all the efforts of people to come here. Thank you so much for giving your Saturday night, you could be doing anything but you are spending it with me," said Sheeran, promising fans that he will return next year."

"This is just the beginning," he added.

Strumming his guitar, the 33-year-old singer belted out a medley of songs, including "Tides", "The A Team", "Perfect", "Happier", "Don't Call Me Baby", "Castle On The Hill", "Galway Girl" and "Eyes Closed".

One of the highlights of the concert was Sheeran jamming with Punjabi star-singer Diljit Dosanjh on the popular Punjabi track "Lover".

As the crowd erupted in joy after watching the two musicians perform together on a 360-degree circular revolving stage, Dosanjh in Punjabi said, "A loud round of applause for Sheeran".

Sheeran, on his part, said "Mumbai, make some noise for Diljit."

"Got to bring out @diljitdosanjh tonight in Mumbai and sing in Punjabi for the first time. I've had such an incredible time in India, more to come!" the British artiste shared in an Instagram post.

Sheeran also teamed up with Malik for their 2022 single "2Step".

After their performance, Malik said, "Ed, there's something that unites us all Indians, I taught you this a few days back. Would you like to do it with me?", and the two of them did Shah Rukh Khan's signature open-arm pose on stage.

Throughout the concert, Sheeran interacted with the audience and got them singing along.

"Mumbai sing along," he said, and the crowd reciprocated.

The show began around 5.00 pm with Indian singer Prateek Kuhad and English musician Calum Scott serving as the opening act before Sheeran took to the stage at 7.30 pm.

Dressed in jeans and a black T-shirt, with 'Mumbai' embossed both in front and on the back, the artiste expressed gratitude to the audience who attended his Mumbai concert for the second time.

"Anyone who has to come see me play again, thank you for coming. If anybody is seeing me live for the first time, I want to explain that everything here tonight is live," Sheeran said.

A few minutes later, he said, this was "the best show ever" in his tour and that he was having the most fun.

Towards the end, Sheeran returned to the stage, wearing a kurta that read 'Mumbai' in Hindi, and sang hits such as "Shape of You" and "Bad Habits".

"Mumbai, I love the 'Shape of You'. I'll never forget tonight. Please go home safe," Sheeran said.

He simply waved at the crowd before making an exit.

Bollywood celebrities such as actors Madhuri Dixit Nene, Priyamani, and filmmaker-choreographer Farah Khan attended the concert.

Days ahead of the concert, the singer met a host of Bollywood celebrities, including Shah Rukh Khan.

Farah Khan also organised a star-studded part in Sheeran's honour which was also attended by Aryan Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Dixit Nene, Malaika Arora, Rajkummar Rao, Patralekhaa, Huma Qureshi, and Arshad Warsi.

On the day of his arrival in India, the singer visited a Mumbai school where he played his all-time favourite track "Shape of You" for children.

He later met Ayushmann Khurrana, who treated him to the Punjabi desert pinni, prepared by the actor's mother.

Videos of Sheeran shaking a leg with Malik on the superhit track "Butta Bomma" from Allu Arjun's 2020 film "Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo" also went viral on social media recently.

During his time in Mumbai, Sheeran was spotted playing cricket with Indian batter Shubman Gill and comic Tanmay Bhat.

BookMyShow was the co-promoter of Sheeran's India tour along with AEG Presents.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)