Global superstar Ed Sheeran has made history once again, scoring the biggest debut of the year with first week sales equivalents of his album “÷” (pronounced “divide”) exceeding 451,000 units. The multiple-GRAMMY winner enters the Billboard 200 at #1 for the second time, doubling the first week sales of his previous album, 2014’s “x” (pronounced “multiply”), which debuted at the top of the chart with 209,000 units. “÷” is also a global phenomenon, selling 4 million units worldwide even with first week figures still coming in. Likewise, the landmark album has gone to #1 on iTunes in 102 countries around the world, and shattered the record for the highest first week Spotify streams ever, logging more than 375 million streams over the full week. In Sheeran’s native U.K., “÷” debuted at #1 on the Official Albums Chart with a staggering 672,000 units in its first week, the third highest week one sales of any album in the chart’s history.
Ed Sheeran said: “After being away for so long, I was hoping my fans would feel the new music was worth the wait, but the response has been beyond my wildest expectations . Heartfelt thanks to all who picked up ÷ this week. Its f—king bonkers. Absolutely chuffed.”
Craig Kallman, Chairman & CEO and Julie Greenwald, Chairman & COO, Atlantic Records said: “Ed is that rarest of artists whose songs cut across boundaries of age, culture, and nationality. He writes music that is deeply personal and at the same time completely universal, and he has created a phenomenal album that is striking a chord with millions of people across the globe. In six short years, Ed has become a superstar by simply being himself – an amazing, down-to-earth human being who is an out-of-this-world musician, songwriter, and performer. All of us at Atlantic are immensely proud to have Ed in our family, and we congratulate him on this landmark achievement.”
“Shape Of You” – the lead single off of “÷” – is also making history on its own, breaking the all-time record for the most played song in a single week at Top 40 – besting Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” which held the record since 2015 – AND Hot AC radio. The RIAA 2x-Platinum certified smash holds the #1 spot at both formats for the fourth and third consecutive week respectively, and on Billboard’s Hot 100 for the sixth week. “Shape of You” and fellow “÷” single “Castle On The Hill” debuted at #1 and #6 respectively on Billboard’s “Hot 100” earlier this year, establishing Sheeran as the first artist to ever have two singles make simultaneous top 10 debuts in the chart’s 58-year history. “Shape of You” and the RIAA-Gold certified “Castle on the Hill” were the first two songs released in 2017 to achieve certifications this year. Additionally, “Shape of You” tops iTunes’ “Top Songs” chart and Spotify’s “Top 50” (both Global and U.S.). The song’s official companion video – directed by MTV Video Music Award winner Jason Koenig– is further achieving record-shattering numbers, with individual views in excess of 350 million at Sheeran’s official YouTube while songs from “÷” alone have passed the 1 billion mark in YouTube views.
Sheeran recently announced details for his North American arena tour, which begins June 29th at Kansas City, Mo’s Sprint Center and then continues through early October (see attached itinerary). Pre-sale tickets are available for purchase now through Thursday, March 16th at 10 PM (all times local); supplies are limited. All remaining tickets will then be released to the general public on Friday, March 17th at 10 AM (local) except the July 19th date at Montreal, QC’s Bell Centre, on sale at 12 Noon (local). For complete details, please visit www.edsheeran.com/live.htm.
“÷” has received a raft of praise, with rave reviews in the New York Times and Rolling Stone, where the British singer-songwriter graces the coverfor the first time. Sheeran kicked off a high profile, national television blitz last month, performing on “Saturday Night Live” (“Shape Of You”/”Castle on the Hill”), then travelling cross-country overnight to take the stage at The 59th GRAMMY Awards less than 24 hours later. Subsequent appearances in support of the release of “÷” include stops at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, CBS Sunday Morning, the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards, The Howard Stern Show, and an outdoor concert in NYC’s Rockefeller Plaza on Today.