The singer’s new track “American Town” is partially inspired by his memories of the sitcom.
Published on September 21, 2023
The “Shape of You” singer performed his new song “American Town” for the Friends star in the privacy of her kitchen because not only are they friends, but the song was inspired by the popular TV show she starred in — Friends.
“Courtney, I wrote a song inspired by Friends, the show that you were on, and I’m going to play it to you, if that’s alright,” Sheeran says before launching into the song from his upcoming album Autumn Variations.
The song describes an “English girl in an American town” and shouts out the sitcom while describing the way the characters eat Chinese take-out.
“That was really about the show Friends?” Cox asks once the serenade ends.
“Well yeah, because you eat Chinese food in small white boxes, we lived the life we saw in Friends,” Sheeran responds, quoting the lyrics from his song.
“Oh my God, I love this, I love that,” Cox says, before joking “do I get paid?” for inspiring the song.
Cox and the singer have been acquainted for over a decade, and he introduced her to her current boyfriend, Snow Patrol multi-instrumentalist and frequent Sheeran collaborator Johnny McDaid.
The kitchen performance is the latest in a string of intimate serenades that Sheeran has undertaken to promote his new album. On Tuesday, the singer announced that he’d recorded an alternate live version of Autumn Variations, with each song performed in the living room of a different fan.
Sheeran called the upcoming album the “most fan focused project I’ve done.” Last week, he asked fans to help create the music videos for the album on Instagram. The singer also crashed weddings and serenaded fans at the merch stand outside his Santa Clara show to debut new material from the album.
The studio version of Autumn Variations releases Sept. 29, while the live version is “coming soon” according to the singer’s social media.
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