Ed Sheeran in 'Shape' for Possible No. 1 Hot 100 Debut Next Week
"Shape of You" could start at the summit, while Sheeran's other new single, "Castle on the Hill," could join "Shape" in the top 10.
Ed Sheeran's new single "Shape of You" is set to storm next week's Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated Jan. 28), possibly with a debut at No. 1. His other new track, "Castle on the Hill," could also arrive in the top 10.
The songs, released Jan. 6 on Atlantic Records, are from Sheeran's third studio album ÷ (pronounced "Divide"), due March 3.
Industry forecasters suggest that "Shape" could sell 225,000 downloads or more in its first week (ending Jan. 12), easily making it the best-selling song of the week. Further, "Shape" should also draw roughly 50 million in radio audience and 20 million U.S. streams for the week. (Each song is accompanied by an official lyric video so far.) All combined, the song should challenge for the Hot 100's top spot upon its arrival. Currently, Migos' "Bad and Boujee," featuring Lil Uzi Vert, is in its first week at No. 1, having lifted 2-1 on the Jan. 21 Hot 100.
Meanwhile, "Castle" could sell 160,000 downloads or more in its first week and boast 14 million U.S. streams, while adding a nominal radio audience sum. Its combined activity could translate to a top 10 debut for the song on the Hot 100.
Notably, Atlantic is promoting the pop/trop-house "Shape" to pop and adult pop radio, while the U2/Coldplay-reminiscent "Castle" is being worked to the more niche alternative and adult alternative formats. (Following its first three days of airplay, "Shape" launched at No. 41 on the Jan. 21-dated Radio Songs airplay chart. It could reach the upper half of the Jan. 28 tally. Radio Songs follows a Monday-Sunday tracking period, while sales and streams are measured Friday-Thursday.)
Should "Shape" start atop the Hot 100, Sheeran would earn his first No. 1 on the chart as an artist; he co-wrote Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself," which spent two weeks on top in February 2016 and went on to become the No. 1 title on the 2016 year-end Hot 100.
And, if "Castle" begins in the top 10, joining "Shape" in the region from the start, Sheeran would be the first artist to debut two songs in the top 10 simultaneously in the Hot 100's 58-year history.
Check Billboard.com Tuesday (Jan. 17, a day later than usual due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday), when highlights of the new Hot 100's top 10 will post. The entire chart, and all rankings, will update the following day.