The singer-songwriter followed 2011’s ‘+’ and 2014’s ‘x’ with ‘÷’ last Friday (March 3). It has gone straight to number one with 672,000 combined chart sales this week, giving Sheeran the highest opening week for a male artist in UK history. It also makes the musician the third fastest-seller of all-time, behind Adele’s ’25’ (800,000) and Oasis’ ‘Be Here Now’ (696,000).
Sheeran’s first two albums ‘x’ and ‘+’ are fourth and fifth respectively in this week’s Albums Chart, with Rag’n’Bone Man second with ‘Human’ and Stormzy’s ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’ at third.
Due to streaming figures being taken into consideration in the charts, Sheeran occupies the top six spots of the Singles Chart this week, as well as nine out of the top ten places and 16 of the top 20. His album’s lead single ‘Shape Of You’ is at number one, with ‘Galway Girl’ at number two and ‘Castle On The Hill’ third.
Sheeran told Radio 1’s Greg James of the news: “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.”
Meanwhile, Spotify has confirmed that Sheeran’s album was streamed 374,721,898 times on the service worldwide during its first week, with 73,906,189 of those streams coming in the UK. The figures mean that Sheeran has broken several records, including the biggest first week streams of an album worldwide.