The runaway success of Ed Sheeran’s ÷ has conquered the US charts, debuting at No.1 on the Billboard chart and shifting 322,000 copies across the pond in its first week.
The UK star has obliterated record after record in the UK with ÷. The album is now the fastest selling release from a male solo artist in the UK and the third fastest selling album of all, hitting first week sales of 671,542. The only albums to surpass ÷ are Adele’s 25 and Oasis’ Be Here Now.
At present, ÷ is the biggest selling album of 2017 so far in the US, with Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic trailing in second place on sales of 230,000. 24K Magic has, however, sold a total of 709,000 in the US since its release back in November of last year.
Furthermore, ÷’s week one sales have already topped Sheeran’s previous best, significantly outstripping the 209,000 sales registered by X in 2014.
And he continues to dominate proceedings over on the US singles chart, with Shape Of You chalking up seven consecutive weeks at the top of the pile.
His success on the UK’s official singles chart has been the subject of much consternation for some in the industry, after Friday’s chart revealed that Sheeran occupied an unprecedented 16 of the Top 19 slots. As a result, some commentators have called for a rethink on how the charts should be compiled in the face on an increasingly streaming-led albums market. Yet OCC chief executive Martin Talbot has told Music Week that the organisation will not make a knee-jerk reaction in the face of what he described as a one-off release.
“[÷] is a massive record,” he said. “There’s only been two albums in recent years that have been anywhere near this, Adele’s 25 and Oasis’ Be Here Now. There are so few records that have been of this scale that what we are seeing isn’t typical. We should be celebrating the fact that Ed Sheeran has followed Stormzy and Rag’N’Bone Man in doing so well on the chart. This time last year we were bemoaning the fact it was so difficult to break British talent, but we are having a bit of a purple patch at the moment.
“We’ll review the methodology and discuss it internally and with the industry as we always do," he added. "We are constantly evolving the chart rules because the industry is constantly evolving.”
You can read our conversation with Talbot in full here.