Ed Sheeran was knocked back by several record label bosses for being ''chubby and ginger''.

The 'Lego House' hitmaker nearly didn't make it in the music business because industry chiefs said he would be tough to market because of his flame-coloured hair, and they didn't take to his top tunes initially.

He said: ''Every single label I had gone to at the time had told me this song wasn't a hit. They said this song wouldn't work.

''And the fact that I was slightly chubby and ginger was not a good 'marketing tool' for them.''

Despite Ed's initial issues, the 22-year-old star - whose 2011 debut album '+' went to number one in several countries - insists his striking ginger hair has helped his career rather than hinder it because people can easily recognise him.

He added to SBTV's NCS: ''It did definitely feel like it wasn't going to happen.

''But being an individual makes you stand out from the crowd.''

Ed has been romantically linked to Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift - who he is currently supporting on her 'Red' tour - and recently admitted speculation about him dating the '22' hitmaker made him feel like a ''stud''.

He said: ''My mates believed it. And my mates are texting me being like, 'Is it true?' so I said it wasn't but the fact that people can believe it makes me feel like a bit of a stud, you know?

''I've got to be honest because one of my best friends did date her. I'm not that kind of guy. But the fact that people believed it impressed me a little bit.''