It’s good great to be Ed Sheeran right now. Refreshed from a year away from the stage and social media, the English “superbusker” is the outright top geezer in the music world right now as his latest album Divide puts up freakish numbers around the globe.
How freaky? Just two days after its official release, the 16 tracks from Divide collectively passed the billion-view milestone on YouTube (‘Shape of You’ and ‘Castle on the Hill’ have been live since Jan. 6), and he’s added more than 3 million subscribers to his channel in the two months since he returned to our lives.
The set also crushed Spotify’s one-day record with upwards of 56 million streams, almost double the previous record (set by The Weeknd’s Starboy).
In the United States — the world’s biggest recorded music market — Divide is sprinting toward No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with early indications suggesting the LP would shift 400,000-450,000 equivalent album units in week one.
That’s a big deal, but the Brits are outpunching the Yanks. According to the Official Charts Company, Sheeran’s third studio record shifted 432,000 copies just three days into the chart cycle, with physical product generating almost two thirds of those sales.
Divide should race past 500,000 copies in its first seven days, making it the biggest opening frame for an album in the U.K. since Adele’s 25 smashed the record books with more than 800,000 opening sales back in November 2015.
Divide has crushed the best start by any album released in the UK last year (David Bowie’s final set Blackstar clocked up 143,455 units). And he’s also on course to become the first artist to have all top four singles at once with ‘Shape Of You,’ ‘Castle On The Hill,’ ‘Galway Girl’ and ‘Perfect,’ respectively.
Expect Divide to smash its way to the top of the ARIA Albums Chart (though don’t expect the trade body to share sales figures. It doesn’t).
Remember when James Blunt introduced Sheeran to the stage at the 2015 ARIA Awards as “the ginger ninja, the Pom with the big schlong?” Yeah, Sheeran is laughing all the way to the top of the charts.