Ed Sheeran in degree honour from University Campus Suffolk

Ed Sheeran Image copyright Ben Watts
Image caption Ed Sheeran is to receive his honorary degree later this year

Ed Sheeran, who quit school at 16 to concentrate on singing, is to be given an honorary degree for his "outstanding contribution to music".

The singer, who grew up in Framlingham, is to be honoured by University Campus Suffolk (UCS) later this year.

Sheeran, 24, recently played three gigs at Wembley Stadium and his album x has sold millions of copies worldwide.

"I've had an amazing year with my world tour and this makes it even better," he said.

Image copyright Jen O'Neill
Image caption Ed Sheeran took to the street to perform following a gig at the Swan in Ipswich in 2010
Image copyright Alice Dearlove
Image caption Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran surprised fans at his local pub in Framlingham in 2013

Although Sheeran has spent most of his time over the past couple of years on tour, he continues to have strong links with the county.

Last month he made two surprise appearances at the Latitude Festival, he is a supporter of East Anglia's Children's Hospices and has twice made the news for taking fellow singers Taylor Swift and Nicole Scherzinger for a drink at his local pub, where he also signed his recording contract.

"Suffolk is very much where I call home and I'm always welcomed back and get so much support," he said. "Receiving this recognition is a real privilege."

Sheeran attended Thomas Mills school in Framlingham but decided to quit his A-levels to concentrate on his music career.

He will receive his award at a formal graduation ceremony, the date of which has yet to be confirmed.

Image caption UCS, which opened in 2007, said Ed Sheeran had remained "loyal to his Suffolk roots"
Image copyright Eamonn McCabe
Image caption Ronald Blythe said the doctorate gave him "great pleasure"

Akenfield author Ronald Blythe is also being honoured.

The 92-year-old, who was born in Acton, Suffolk, said he was "delighted" by the gesture.

Richard Lister, provost and chief executive of UCS, said: "We are delighted to be able to welcome such a distinguished group of individuals as honorary graduates and fellows of UCS."

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