Ed Sheeran has become the newest member of The Ivors Academy, the music association behind the prestigious annual British music ceremony The Ivor Novello Awards.

The 'Perfect' hitmaker - who is a regular winner at the annual songwriting prize-giving and won Songwriter of the Year and the PRS for Music Most Performed Work prize for 'Shape of You' in 2018 - has become a a member of what was previously known as BASCA - the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors - which is changing its name to The Ivors Academy.

The 28-year-old singer/songwriter joins 2,000 members, including the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Dizzee Rascal and Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood.

Ed - who has sold more than 150 million records worldwide - has co-written hits for the likes of Justin Bieber, One Direction, Jessie Ware, James Blunt and Taylor Swift, to name a few.

Explaining the ''important'' name change, Graham Davies, chief executive of The Ivors Academy, said: ''Becoming The Ivors Academy is an important step in our history. We are becoming true champions of music creators.

''Music starts with the creator and without their contribution to recordings, videos, games, TV, film, radio and live, the riches enjoyed across the media and technology industries would not exist.

''Riches should be shared fairly so that creators can make a living from their art and craft.

''Creators should not have to constantly fight to retain their rights, fight to be paid and fight for fair access to work.

''In the past the industry has spoken on behalf of creators, but The Ivors Academy will empower creators to raise their voice and speak up for themselves.''

On how they are working to ''inspire'' the next generation of songwriters, Crispin Hunt, Songwriter and Chair of The Ivors Academy, said: ''The future needs a powerful collective voice for music writers.

''The Ivors Academy of Music Creators is the future-facing, fit-for-purpose evolution of BASCA's great legacy.

''Our mission is to innovate, inspire, inform, empower and celebrate musical creativity: connecting a global membership towards a flourishing musical future for every genre and every future genre.''

Songwriter and recipient of the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection, Joan Armatrading, added: ''Recognition for my songwriting, especially from my peers, is extremely important to me.

''Being part of an organisation that stands up for our rights, and protects the value of our craft, is invaluable in today's industry and I'd encourage every songwriter and composer to add to our collective voice.''

The Ivor Novello Awards 2019 will take place on May 23 at Grosvenor House in London, hosted by Paul Gambaccini, and the nominations will be revealed on April 24.