Ed Sheeran's Plus-Sized Debut on Billboard 200, Folk Charts

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British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran takes a bow at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 with his first full-length album, "+." The set starts with 42,000 and also debuts at No. 1 on the Folk Albums chart.

Of its first-week sales, 79% were digital downloads. That's not too surprising, as Sheeran got a lot of love from the iTunes store last week. The retailer offered the album's "The A Team" as its free single of the week and promoted it on the store's front page.

"Eternal love for anyone that owns a copy of '+', however you got hold of it, legal or illegal, thank you for enjoying it," Sheeran told his Twitter followers on Wednesday.

The album has been a smash in Sheeran's homeland, where it debuted at No. 1 in late 2011 on the U.K. albums chart and currently sits at No. 7 in its 40th week on the list.

Sheeran's arrival is the highest debut for a U.K. solo artist's first full-length album since Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" bowed at No. 1 on Dec, 12, 2009. The last U.K. male to bow higher with his first full-length was Radiohead's Thom Yorke on July 29, 2006, when "The Eraser" debuted at No. 2.

"+" follows Sheeran's "The A Team" EP, which reached No. 14 on the Heatseekers Albums chart last month. Earlier this year, Sheeran won two BRIT Awards for British breakthrough act and British solo male artist.