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Ed Sheeran tests positive for the coronavirus, which may mean he won't perform on SNL

Ed Sheeran, pictured in 2018 at the Berlinale International Film Festival, says he has tested positive for the coronavirus just days ahead of the release of his fourth album.
Thomas Niedermueller
Getty Images
Ed Sheeran, pictured in 2018 at the Berlinale International Film Festival, says he has tested positive for the coronavirus just days ahead of the release of his fourth album.

Ed Sheeran announced on Instagram that he has "tested positive for Covid" and is self-isolating.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos)

"Hey guys. Quick note to tell you that I've sadly tested positive for Covid, so I'm now self-isolating and following government guidelines," the singer wrote in a post Sunday.

"It means that I'm now unable to plough ahead with any in person commitments for now, so I'll be doing as many of my planned interviews/performances I can from my house. Apologies to anyone I've let down. Be safe everyone x."

This comes at a busy time for Sheeran, whose upcoming fourth solo studio album releases in less than a week. He's been doing appearances and interviews in advance of the album out Oct. 29, titled "=" and says that although COVID will force him to cancel in-person performances, he'll do virtual appearances as much as possible.

Sheeran's news came a day after Saturday Night Live announced plans to feature him as the show's musical guest Nov. 6 alongside host Kieran Culkin.

No word from SNL or parent network NBC on whether Sheeran will be replaced, and if so, who might go on instead.

During the earlier days of the coronavirus pandemic, musical guests on SNL performed via video while the show paused production from Studio 8H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and instead taped from staff members' homes. Sheeran has performed on SNL before, including in 2017.

This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Nell Clark is an editor at Morning Edition and a writer for NPR's Live Blog. She pitches stories, edits interviews and reports breaking news. She started in radio at campus station WVFS at Florida State University, then covered climate change and the aftermath of Hurricane Michael for WFSU in Tallahassee, Fla. She joined NPR in 2019 as an intern at Weekend All Things Considered. She is proud to be a member of NPR's Peer-to-Peer Trauma Support Team, a network of staff trained to support colleagues dealing with trauma at work. Before NPR, she worked as a counselor at a sailing summer camp and as a researcher in a deep-sea genetics lab.

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