Ed Sheeran was ''terrified'' his career ''would be over in an instant'' when he first found fame.

The 'Castle on the Hill' hitmaker is ''at a point'' where he isn't worried about his critics anymore as he'll ''still be able to play music'' no matter what.

He said: ''I know Noel Gallagher doesn't like my music, but I get on with him as a person, so why does it f***ing matter? ... I was self-conscious about it [critics] on my first album, because I'd never had any success, I'd never sold any records, never sold a ticket, and I was terrified that it would be over in an instant.

''The album got panned by the critics and I was like, 'F**k, this is it.' But now I'm at a point where, even if I get a one-star review for every album I release for the rest of my life, I'll still be able to play music.''

And the 26-year-old singer is sure his latest album '÷' will be a huge hit and is hopeful his music will inspire generations to come.

Asked how he'd feel if his album sold less than his 2014 effort 'X', he shared: ''I'll bet you anything now it won't. I don't think there's any possibility it will. The next album, I promise you, will sell less, but this album will sell more. I don't think I'll have a year like this again.

''[I want it to be] something like Damien Rice's O, that in my lifetime is one of the most important records for me. I'd love for some kid who in 20 years' time is a huge artist to be like, 'Wow, that album.'''

Ed is still in awe of all that has happened in his career but says there is ''more to life than selling millions of records''.

Asked if he could walk away from it all one day, he told The Guardian newspaper: ''Not from music, but I could walk away from being this massive, so long as I controlled it. I'm not continually going to have this ambition. I know I'm not always going to maintain it. I've played Wembley Stadium three nights in a row and if I end my career doing one night at Shepherd's Bush, it's fine, because I've achieved it.

''I've won the awards you're meant to win, sold the records you're meant to sell. I never did it for money, and I don't really need any more money. At the end of the day, I make music to make music and as long as I can keep doing that for the rest of my life, it doesn't really matter. I was talking to Taylor about this, actually: the moment we see it fading, it's like, 'Right, time to have kids!' It's fun now, in my 20s, but there's more to life than selling millions of records.''