Ed Sheeran failed his music college course before he went on to global stardom and an estimated wealth of £160 million.
The singer-songwriter’s F grades in all six of his music subjects, including songcraft and professional musicianship, are set out in a letter from the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford in 2010.
The document forms part of a free exhibition, called Ed Sheeran: Made In Suffolk, which opens in Ipswich, in south-east England, today.
The 28-year-old’s father, John Sheeran, who curated the exhibition, said the teenage Ed became “disillusioned” with the course after just three weeks.
He was invited to be the support act on a tour with Just Jack in 2009 so dropped out to pursue his big break.
A year later he got a letter with his resulting F grades, and told his father and mother, Imogen Sheeran.
“Just three weeks into the course, and already disillusioned with it, he asked his tutors for permission to go on the tour but they refused,” said Mr Sheeran.
“He then rang us to say that he was determined to go on the tour, even if it meant him leaving college.
“Neither of us were surprised.
“Ed was developing a fearless gut instinct.
“Imogen and I caught up with him supporting Just Jack at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
“Ed’s soon-to-be manager Stuart Camp was also there.
“The following August, Ed showed us a letter he received from ACM, which included his final results: Fail for Musicianship and Fail for Songcraft – hardly surprising as he never returned.”
The exhibition also includes a certificate presented to the singer-songwriter at his Year 11 prom at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, naming him as “most likely to be famous”.
A 2004 school report describes the form 8JE student as a “natural performer”.
The exhibition will run until May next year.
It is free but due to the expected level of demand people are asked to book at www.made-in-suffolk.co.uk/
The exhibition has been timed to coincide with four homecoming concerts in Ipswich.