There was little doubt Ed Sheeran would storm to Number 1 this week, but today (March 10) the Official Charts Company can confirm that the singer-songwriter’s new collection ÷ is the fastest-selling album by a male artist ever – and the records don’t stop there.
The highly anticipated third album (pronounced ‘Divide’) shifted a staggering 672,000 this week, giving Ed the highest opening week album sales in Official Chart history for a male artist and the third fastest-seller ever. Only Adele’s 25 (800,000) and Oasis’ Be Here Now (696,000) shifted more copies across their first seven days of release.
It’s been a phenomenal week for Ed and one that is rarely seen on the Official Chart. In its opening week, ÷ has sold more than the rest of the Official Albums Chart Top 500 combined this week, and, like for like, four times more than the fastest-selling album of 2016, David Bowie’s Blackstar (146,000 in week 1). Its total sales figure means it already awarded a 2 x Platinum certification by the BPI.
Ed said “Wow! What a phenomenal week. To every person who’s bought the album – thank you. I’m buzzing! 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.”
A British artist and record with incredibly broad appeal to fans of all generations and genres – the album has performed strongly across all formats this week. Driven predominantly by physical sales (62%), 26% from downloads and 12% streaming equivalent sales – the highest first-week streaming sales for an album ever (79,000 album streams, already overtaking Stormzy’s Gang Signs & Prayer that set a new record last week).
Ed has also scored the biggest one-week vinyl album sale in more than 20 years – amassing more sales on wax this week than any vinyl record of the last two decades has managed by traditional vinyl stars such as Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead and Noel Gallagher.
Ed has claimed the chart double as Shape Of You leads the way on the Official Singles Chart, notching up 141,000 combined chart sales. All 16 songs on ÷ feature inside the Top 20, something that no artist has come close to achieving before and is a reflection of the sheer scale of this release and its broad appeal.
Behind Shape Of You, Ed holds the entire Top 5 – the first time an act has ever achieved this – with Galway Girl (2), Castle On The Hill (3), Perfect (4) and New Man (5). And with nine songs in the Top 10 today, Ed sets a new record for landing the most Top 10 singles from one album, having scored 10 from ÷ so far (How Would You Feel (Paean) is Number 11 this week but has also charted inside the Top 10 previously). The previous record holder was Calvin Harris, who landed nine Top 10 singles from his 18 Months album.
Ed also dominates on the Official Irish Singles and Irish Albums Charts, with tracks relating to Ed’s Irish heritage performing especially well. Galway Girl is the country’s Official Number 1 single this week, outmuscling Shape of You (2) by over 3,000. ÷ deluxe track Nancy Mulligan – the story of Ed Sheeran’s Irish grandparents – is at Number 3. ÷ itself is Number 1 on the Official Irish Albums Chart, outselling the rest of the Top 40 combined.
Aside from Ed Sheeran’s new entries, two more songs are on course to enter this week’s singles Top 40: Lorde’s new single Green Light debuts Number 28, and a new version of Little Mix’s No More Sad Songs featuring Machine Gun Kelly is at 39.
Over on the Official Albums Chart, eight more new albums land inside this week’s Top 40: Windy City by US bluegrass-country singer Alison Krauss (6), Collabro’s third album Home (7) and Sleaford Mods’ 10th record English Tapas (12).
Further down, Daniel O’Donnell’s Back Home Again debuts at 14, Last Place by US indie band Grandaddy opens at 18, Volcano by British band Temples is at 23 We Are X by Japanese rockers X Japan enters at 27, and The Gold Collection by Irish musical duo Foster & Allen is at 34.