The 26-year-old Shape of You " singer was the most-streamed artist on music service Spotify globally in 2017, and his third album Divide, topped the USA album charts.
Sheeran was the most-streamed artist of 2017 and supports various charities, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the ONE Campaign.
As he collected the honor at Buckingham Palace, the Divide singer-songwriter said previous generations of Sheerans would be proud.
Sheeran was not named a knight or Sir, so instead of the formalities associated with such a distinction, Sheeran chatted casually with Prince Charles.
The Prince of Wales presented the medal to Sheeran and was reportedly impressed by the singer's work ethic.
Apparently Sheeran gets some variation of this question quite often.
The MBE has a lot of personal meaning for Sheeran, too: His late grandfather, Bill, was a "massive royalist" - i.e. a massive fan of the Royal family - and this MBE would be a huge deal to him, who passed away in 2013.
". He died on this day four years ago", the artist reportedly said, "so it's actually quite a nice full circle thing, I guess he'd be pretty proud".
Sheeran said he didn't think he had a "vast amount of talent compared to other people", calling his success "persistence".
Speaking at the palace, Ed explained: 'I think it's persistence.