The pair performed a duet at a festival but while Beyoncé looked magical, Sheeran dressed like he had come from a lock-in at the student union
Why are people upset about the photos of Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran performing together? Michael, by email
Ahh, to see a world in a grain of sand, as William Blake wrote. Just possibly, he was not referring to Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé, but also he possibly was. Who are we to impose limitations on genius? Anyway, last weekend, two of the biggest pop stars in the world, Beyoncé and Sheeran – Sheyoncé? Beeran? – performed Sheeran’s song Perfect together at the Global Citizen festival: Mandela 100 in South Africa. To use a rather au courant phrase, the optics were bad. There was Sheeran, looking as he always does, as if he just got out of a lock-in at the student union, and there was Beyoncé, looking as she always does, like a magical fairy queen from the land of Oz. She was wearing an extraordinary couture dress by the Lebanese label Ashi Studio that was really more ruffle than gown, on which the low-key part was the multi-layered extra-long train behind her. But, in case you are worried that all this frill and fabric meant Bey’s body was covered, allow me to put your mind at rest: beneath the ruffles was a mini-dress that was left frill-free at the front, so we could gaze upon Beyoncé’s thighs and cleavage. On top of that, there were the obligatory high heels, makeup and hair that looked as if it took at least four hours to style, and giant earrings. She looked, as ever, absolutely amazing.