Beautiful People
by Ed Sheeran (featuring Khalid)

Album: No. 6 Collaborations Project (2019)
Charted: 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This song is about the so-called "Beautiful People," a term for those who move in fashionable or glamorous circles.

    Inside the world of beautiful people
    Champagne and rolled-up notes
    Prenups and broken homes
    Surrounded, but still alone
    Let's leave the party


    Ed Sheeran prefers to remain true to himself - he does not fit in with those who are obsessed with material things and stature. In 2016 the pop star took a year-long hiatus and social media break; during this time he traveled the world and met people, forging real person-to-person connections.
  • Khalid joins Sheeran on the song. He too feels uncomfortable in the beautiful people's world of glamour and excess.

    We don't fit in well, we are just ourselves
    I could use some help gettin' out of this conversation


    Rather than trying to fit in with the L.A. party culture, Khalid finds refuge in real relationships.
  • Speaking of their collaboration, Sheeran said: "Khalid's got an undeniable, soulful voice and I knew he would be perfect for this track. I think we both connect to the song in the same way, and I'm really happy we got to work together."
  • "Beautiful People" was produced by Sheeran with Max Martin, Shellback, and Fred. The three producers also collaborated with Sheeran on No. 6 Collaborations Project's lead single "I Don't Care."
  • The phrase "beautiful people" was used a lot in the late 1960s to mock the rich, famous and powerful. The Beatles', for instance, asked scathingly in 1967's "Baby You're A Rich Man, "How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?" Marilyn Manson also did a song about it.
  • The tongue-in-cheek music video was directed by Andy McLeod. A founding partner of Fallon, one of London's most highly respected advertising agencies, McLeod is credited (along with his creative partner) with starting the "Love it/Hate it" advertising campaign for Marmite in the late '90s. In doing so they created a turn of phrase that is now in the English dictionary.

    The clip follows an ordinary couple who are dropped into a world of excess and high glamor. However, the pair doesn't feel compelled to fit in with their new surroundings. Sheeran and Khalid feature briefly, sat in the front row at a fashion show.
  • The pair performed the song live together for the first time during Khalid's headlining show at London's O2 Arena on September 17, 2019.
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