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 2x Platinum certification by the BPI.
Ed tells OfficialCharts.com: “Wow! What a phenomenal week. To every person who’s bought the album - thank you. I’m buzzing!”
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. ÷ was driven predominantly by physical sales (62%), 26% from downloads and 12% streaming equivalent sales, the latter being a new record for the highest first-week streaming sales for an album ever. Ed's third LP accumulated 79,000 album streams, already overtaking Stormzy’s Gang Signs & Prayer that set a new record last week.
The album is Ed's third consecutive Number 1 album, following 2014's x and 2011's +. Both of those sit in the Official Albums Chart Top 5 today at 4 and 5 respectively.
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. Click here to view this week's Official Vinyl Albums Chart Top 40.
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.
Ben Cook, President, Atlantic Records UK comments:
“Ed is truly one of a kind and ÷ is an incredible musical statement that only he could make; it’s passionate and contemporary, whilst being distinct and timeless. 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!”
Martin Talbot, Chief Executive, Official Charts Company adds:
“Divide is a huge album, a genuine phenomenon. The impact it has made this week, both in the Official Singles Chart and the Official Albums Chart (16 Top 20 singles and 3 Top 5 albums) is truly remarkable, and places Ed Sheeran in a firmament only occupied by Adele and Oasis in the past 30 years. Congratulations to Ed on an incredible success."
New entries and high climbers
Aside from Ed Sheeran’s new entries, two more songs 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 group 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.
Look through our gallery of every Number 1 album of 2017 below: