The achievement comes as Sheeran continues his UK stadium tour with upcoming dates at Glasgow’s Hampden Park (June 1-3) and four nights at Wembley Stadium later in the month.
According to the latest Midweek chart update, ÷ is at No.8 on sales of 7,189 (OCC) so far this week. Combined with sales up to Friday’s chart (May 25) of 2,997,495, the tally for Sheeran’s third album now stands at 3,004,684.
The 3m UK sales landmark has been reached in just under 15 months since the album’s March 3, 2017 release. Of the total up to Friday, physical sales accounted for 60.8% of the total (1,822,719), while streams made up 24% (719,247 equivalent sales) and downloads 15.2% (455,529).
The album is the 15th biggest seller in the OCC era since 1994 but could overtake David Gray’s White Ladder, Dido’s No Angel and Michael Buble’s Crazy Love within weeks. If it maintains its present sales during 2018, it could also make the Top 10 biggest albums of the modern era later this year – though it would be at the expense of his own 2014 album x. Currently the 10th biggest seller, x has OCC sales to date of 3,329,666.
When all albums including pre-1994 releases are included, ÷ would be in the Top 30 biggest sellers of all time behind LPs long certified 10 times platinum, including Dirty Dancing OST and Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell.
The overall No.1 album since 1994 is Adele’s 21 (5,089,817 sales), though the all-time biggest seller is Queen’s Greatest Hits, which is certified 20 times platinum. ABBA’s Gold – Greatest Hits and The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band are also ahead of Adele with 17 times platinum certification for both.