Ed Sheeran is set to storm the Official Albums Chart after getting off to an incredible start in this week’s race.
His brand new album, ÷ (pronounced Divide), was released yesterday (March 3) and after just 24 hours on sale has racked up a staggering 232,000 physical and digital copies, according to preliminary Official Charts data. In fact, in one day ÷ has already sold more than Ed’s previous album x (Multiply) sold in its first week.
Ben Cook, President, Atlantic Records UK, commented to OfficialCharts.com: "Ed is an artist that inspires a generation, and the release of Divide is a global event. It's great to see so many people across the world respond to this brilliant new work in such an unprecedented manner.
"As the way we release music changes, Ed continues to shape culture and how it evolves. It’s early days, but we’re really excited to see what we can achieve alongside Ed and his management on what is an outstanding landmark record."
The early sales total, which was achieved without the inclusion of streaming data which will catch up over the coming days, and puts Sheeran on course to follow his close mate Stormzy to the Number 1 spot; the London grime star topped the Official Albums Chart with his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer yesterday, following a breath-taking race with Rag‘n’Bone Man.
÷ is on track to achieve one of the biggest first week totals of recent years. The biggest total of any album in 2016 was David Bowie’s Blackstar, which sold 143,455 in one week last January.
The full midweek Official Singles and Albums Chart round-up will paint an even clearer picture on Monday afternoon - hear the latest on the Official Chart Update with Greg James on BBC Radio 1 from 5.30pm, with the full midweek Top 100 made available on OfficialCharts.com.