The 'Castle on the Hill' hitmaker bonded with the 42-year-old singer during his year-long hiatus from the spotlight throughout 2016 and has now asked him to accompany him when he takes his highly-anticipated shows to the US later this year.
A source told The Sun newspaper: ''Ed and James have a real laugh together, it'll be proper madness on tour. James has a good following in the US so he'll also play some gigs too, acting as a support for his mate. When you spend so much time on the road it's always handy to be in good company, and James certainly fits into that category.''
And the flame-haired hunk has also written some songs for the 'Bonfire Heart' hitmaker's forthcoming fifth studio album 'The Afterlove'.
The LP is set to drop on March 24 and also features collaborations with the likes of Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic, Amy Wadge, Johnny McDaid and MoZella.
Taking to his Twitter account on Tuesday (24.01.17), James announced the news of his new album - which is the follow up to 2013's 'Moon Landing' - via a short video.
He accompanied the clip, which was filmed in his bathtub, with the caption: ''I've got something huge to show you.''
Ed, on the other hand, is yet to announce many details about his forthcoming tour but admitted recently that he wants to ease himself back into things gently following his 12-month break and has only included arenas and smaller venues on his forthcoming tour.
He said: ''This time, I didn't want to go straight into stadiums. I wanted to get the tour good first. We're doing smaller shows ... It's mad to say an arena is a small show cause it's not, but it was a conscious decision not to book a load of Wembleys this year.''
Although he's already decided he wants to perform at smaller venues this year, the 25-year-old singer is yet to release any dates regarding when the tour will kick off but it's believed he will get things going by headlining at Glastonbury at the end of June.
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