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Double-Platinum Passenger Plots New Album, Recalls Ed Sheeran's Helping Hand

Image courtesy of Credit: Angelo Kehagias (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Credit: Angelo Kehagias (via ABC News Radio)

In 2013, Passenger -- the stage name of the British singer/songwriter Mike Rosenberg -- saw his song "Let Her Go" reach double-platinum status and climb into the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.  In 2014, he'll be treating fans to some brand new music.

While it's only just entering the upper reaches of the chart now, Mike's current album, All the Little Lights , actually came out back in August 2012, so it's no wonder he's ready for a new release.  The singer plans to put out a new disc in the U.S. either this spring or summer, and will follow it with a North American summer tour.

But "Let Her Go" shows no signs of slowing down, and Mike says he owes at least a part of its success -- and his current high profile -- to a fellow Brit who's an old friend of his: Ed Sheeran .  The two met about five years ago when they were both unknowns, and when Ed found fame first, he brought his pal Mike out on tour with him in Europe, Australia and the U.S., exposing his music to thousands and thousands of potential new fans.

"It can go either way," says Mike of opening for an established act when you're just starting out.  As he tells ABC News Radio, "You can go out there and people will just chat and drink and, y'know, kind of listen...but they're really there just to see the main act.  But I felt like the Ed Sheeran tour was just amazing. I mean people, took to my music really well."

"I think what me and Ed do is pretty different, but close enough for it to really make sense on a bill together," he adds. "I was amazed by the response. Amazed.  People were just incredibly welcoming and kind and open minded and open hearted towards me.  I was really the start of a very special year or so."

Now, just like Ed, Mike's got his own following, his own hit and his own prestigious award nomination: "Let Her Go" just earned him a nod for the Brit Awards, the U.K. equivalent of the Grammys.  He says their friendship has been "really incredible," and adds that his pal Ed is a "constant inspiration" to him, when he needs advice on how to handle his growing fame.

"For somebody so young to have such a calm head on his shoulders and take it all so well -- you know, 'cause his rise to fame has been insane -- but he's still the same kid I met five years ago, really," Mike tells ABC News Radio. "Which is a massive testament to his character, I think."  

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio