Ed Sheeran took to Instagram live today to announce his fourth studio album, ‘= (Equals)’.

Following from the success of his last album, ‘Divide’ in 2017, Ed has come back to announce his new album which will be out October 29.

Along with the news of his new album, he has released a new singe entitled ‘Visiting Hours’, which he says is dedicated to his late friend, Michael, who passed away earlier this year.

In June, he released another new single, ‘Bad Habits’. Both are available to stream now.

Ed describes the album as ‘coming of age’, having been working on it since June 2017 through “love, loss, new life, grief and everything in-between.”

On his live stream, he said the symbolism for the album is new life, having had different experiences in life the last four years. “Getting married, having a kid, losing a friend, I felt the butterfly symbol [on the cover] fit in well with that”.

All songs on the album “have their place” he said, affirming be believes it is the best piece of work he has done.

After his announcement he performed Visiting Hours, which he debuted at a memorial for Michael earlier in the year.

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Ed said on his Instagram post: “I’ve never been more proud of a body of work, or more excited/nervous for you all to hear it.

“Lots more music to come, but for now I hope you are as excited as me for the album.”

You can pre-order the new album here.