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Ed Sheeran gave 'Love Yourself' to Justin Bieber because it was 'too personal' and 'harsh'

Despite giving away the number one hit, he still managed to become the top-streamed artist of 2017.

Despite giving away the number one hit, he still managed to become the top-streamed artist of 2017

British pop star Ed Sheeran performs on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts. (AFP/Getty Images)

Ed Sheeran was just named the most-streamed artist in the world by Spotify for 2017, with the singer-songwriter accounting for 6.3 billion streams. Sheeran released his third album, Divide, earlier this year, which included the smash hit, "Shape of You."

There's one song, however, that was never going to make the cut, so he ended up giving it to another artist. That song was "Love Yourself," which Justin Bieber turned into a number one hit last year.

As Sheeran tells q, the song was just "too personal" and "a bit harsh."

"I've ruined friendships and relationships with people that I know by putting songs on my album," he said, citing 2014's "The Man" and "Don't," off his album x. "They're songs that people play on the radio but they have big repercussions in my personal life. 'Love Yourself' would have really, really, really f--ked up some stuff so I was never ever going to record it or put it on an album."

Sheeran adds that it's "important to be honest" in songwriting, but that it changes the way he thinks about releasing songs into the world.

"If some people are in a really f--king bad mood, they'll go on a run or they'll go boxing or something, just to get out their aggression," he says. "I'll put all my bad energy into a song, which is why something like ['Love Yourself'] ends up being like, quite bitey and mean. It's because all my bad energy went into that song and after I finish it, I feel completely clean and better."

Listen to the full interview with Sheeran below.

Pop artist Ed Sheeran opens up about fame, songwriting and balancing pop bangers with deeper, personal songs. 20:13

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