Ed Sheeran not sure he's 'brave enough' to compete for a Grammy against Adele's '25'

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Ed Sheeran Plots Deluxe 'X'

In this week's issue of Billboard, we're giving you an in-depth, 24-hour peek into the lives of four music industry players: international pop star Ed Sheeran, power manager Sarah Stennett (she reps Ellie Goulding, Iggy Azalea and the newly solo Zayn Malik), DJ Tommy Trash and producer-Def Jam vp No. I.D.

While looking ahead to his 2016, Sheeran let us know a few things about his upcoming third studio album. One thing he's concerned about already? Adele's 25, an album his next release will potentially compete against two Grammys from now (both are likely to be up in the best vocal pop album category in 2017).

Billboard Cover: 24 Hours With Ed Sheeran as He Launches New Label, Talks Third Album and Pops Bottles Courtesy of Beyonce

Sheeran tells Billboard Atlantic is eyeing a September 2016 release for his next album (so it's eligible for the following Grammys), but that would mean going head-to-head with fellow Brit Adele.

"Adele is releasing her album in the same Grammy category," he says. "I don't know if I'm brave enough to go up against her."

Even if he's a bit intimidated by Adele, he's still expecting his follow-up to X to be his biggest yet.

24 Hours With Ed Sheeran: His New York City Whirlwind (PHOTOS)

"I don't know if it's going to last forever," Sheeran admits of his songwriting talent. "I know this third record will be better than anything I've ever done. I might fall off on this fourth record, who knows? But I'm positive this will be the real big one."

For more on our day in the life with Sheeran, head here to read this week's Billboard cover story. And watch as we carpool with Sheeran in the video above and check out our exclusive behind-the-scenes video of 24 hours in the life of the pop star below.


Click through to see Adele through the years:

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Adele through the years
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Ed Sheeran not sure he's 'brave enough' to compete for a Grammy against Adele's '25'
COLOGNE, GERMANY - DECEMBER 06: Adele attends the television show 2015! Menschen, Bilder, Emotionen - RTL Jahresrueckblick on December 6, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)
MAIDSTONE, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 11: Adele performs on the Main Stage on the second day of the Radio 1 Big Weekend at Mote Park on May 11, 2008 in Maidstone, England. (Photo by Rosie Greenway/Getty Images)
LONDON - SEPTEMBER 09: Singer Adele arrives at the Mercury Music Prize 2008 at Grosvenor House Hotel on September 9, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 17: Musician Adele performs at the 9:30 Club on January 17, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: Adele attends the Keep a Child Alive organization's 5th annual Black Ball at The Hammerstein Ballroom on November 13, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Singer Adele arrives at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Singer Adele, winner of two awards; Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for 'Chasing Pavements' and Best New Artist, poses in the press room during the 51st Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 17: Adele performs onstage during 2009 VH1 Divas at Brooklyn Academy of Music on September 17, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
British singer-songwriter Adele poses for a portrait in West Hollywood, Calif., Monday, Feb. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 28: Singer Adele arrives at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on August 28, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 28: Singer Adele performs onstage during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on August 28, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Recording artist Adele poses for a portrait Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Adele arrives at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Adele performs onstage at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2012 file photo, performer Adele arrives for the Brit Awards 2012 at the O2 Arena in London. Four years after her last album, the singer appears to have teased British television viewers with a snippet of new music, broadcast during an ad break on prime-time TV. The 30-second ad shown Sunday evening, Oct. 18, 2015, during TV talent show "The X Factor" featured Adele's distinctive tones over a black screen on which heartache-filled lyrics appeared. (AP Photo/Jonathan Short, File)
Musician Adele poses with her six trophies at the 54th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, February 12, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Adele arrives at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday Jan. 13, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Singer Adele poses in the press room with her best original song in a motion picture award for 'Skyfall' at the Golden Globes awards ceremony in Beverly Hills on January 13, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Singer Adele speaks onstage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Singer Adele, winner of the Best Original Song award for 'Skyfall,' poses in the press room during the Oscars held at Loews Hollywood Hotel on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Singer Adele arrives at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Singer Adele performs onstage during the Oscars held at the Dolby Theatre on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Adele is seen on November 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gardiner Anderson/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Singer Adele is seen in Soho on November 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Matthew McConaughey' Episode 1689 -- Pictured: Musical guest Adele performs on November 21, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0373 -- Pictured: (l-r) Singer Adele plays 'Box of Lies' with host Jimmy Fallon on November 23, 2015 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0374 -- Pictured: (l-r) Host Jimmy Fallon and The Roots sing with Adele during the Music Room bit on November 24, 2015 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 24: Adele is seen on November 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gardiner Anderson/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
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