Ed Sheeran has claimed the fastest selling album by a male artist ever in the U.K. as ÷ (Atlantic) ends its first week on a combined total of 672k (physical 62%, downloads 25% and 12% streaming equivalents). The album is the third fastest seller of all time behind Adele and Oasis.
÷ has sold more than the rest of the Official Albums Chart Top 500 combined, has the highest first-week streaming sales for an album ever, and the biggest one-week vinyl album sales in more than 20 years.
Atlantic U.K. boss Ben Cook said: “In the six years since we signed him, nothing with Ed has been accidental—he’s constantly raised the bar, challenging us to match his drive and musical output at every step: ÷ is no different.
"It’s his best record to date and together we’ve innovated to create this historic, cultural moment. Ed has proven himself to be a rare modern day artist whose career continues to grow stratospherically and his music will resonate across generations for years to come. What a lad.”
Over on the Official Singles Charts, Sheeran has nine entries in the Top 10 and all 16 songs on ÷ feature inside the Top 20—a feat no artist has come close to achieving.
“Shape Of You” is still #1 with 141k combined sales this week, with “Galway Girl” #2, “Castle On The Hill” #3, “Perfect” #4 and “New Man” #5.
“I never expected to have nine songs in the top 10 ever in my life so yeah, I don’t know, something’s gone wrong. But I’m definitely very, very happy about it,” Sheeran told BBC Radio 1’s Greg James today.
“These are truly great results from a truly great artist but the Ed Sheeran story isn't about numbers,” said Max Lousada, Chairman & CEO, Warner Music UK. “It's about an artist who brilliantly captures life's moments big and small. He wraps them into words you can't forget and tunes you can't stop singing, delivered through performances you want to hear again and again.”
There’s no doubt the Sheeran domination on the singles charts is partly down to the impact of streaming, and is one which will continue to raise questions over the current calculation in weeks to come. Nevertheless, Sheeran has firmly put the U.K. music market back on the map and, in doing so, secured his credentials as a global superstar. Who will be next?
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