"Shape," the 1,061st No. 1 in the Hot 100's 58-year history, rockets in powered most heavily by sales, as it also bows atop the Digital Song Sales chart with 240,000 first-week downloads sold in the week ending Jan. 12, according to Nielsen Music. It launches at No. 4 on Streaming Songs with 20 million U.S. streams and soars 41-18 on Radio Songs with 57 million in airplay audience following its first full week of tracking.
Sheeran simultaneously starts at No. 6 on the Hot 100 with "Castle on the Hill," which opens at No. 2 on Digital Song Sales (171,000 sold) and No. 11 on Streaming Songs (13 million U.S. streams). (With both debuts, Sheeran ups his career count to five Hot 100 top 10s.)
"Shape" and "Castle" were released Jan. 6 on Atlantic Records and preview Sheeran's third studio album ÷ (pronounced "Divide"), due March 3. Each song is accompanied by an official lyric video so far. At radio, "Shape" being promoted to pop and adult pop formats and "Castle," to the more niched alternative and adult alternative formats.
Upon Sheeran's shining week, let's look at the many feats that he achieves.
Sheeran's first No. 1 as an artist: Sheeran tops the Hot 100 for the first time among 16 career entries, dating to his arrival with "The A Team" (on July 28, 2012). He previously peaked as high as No. 2 (for eight weeks) with "Thinking Out Loud" in 2015. (He'd debuted as high as No. 15 with "Sing" in 2014.) Still, Sheeran had topped the Hot 100 as a writer, having co-written Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself," which spent two weeks at No. 1 in February 2016 and went on to become the top title on the 2016 year-end Hot 100.
Sheeran scores his second Hot 100 No. 1 as a writer, while "Shape" co-writers Steve Mac and Johnny McDaid each tally their first. Notably, Sheeran and McDaid co-penned Sheeran's 2015 No. 10 hit "Photograph." (Another note on Mac's success follows below ...)
First artist with simultaneous top 10 debuts: As pointed out above, until Sheeran on the new Hot 100, no act in the chart's history had debuted with two titles in the top 10 in the same week. In 2016, two artists just missed the honor by one notch each: on the May 14 chart, Beyonce blasted in at No. 10 with "Formation" and No. 11 with "Sorry." On the Dec. 31 chart, J. Cole debuted at No. 7 with "Deja Vu" and No. 11 with "Immortal."
Started from the top: "Shape" is the 27th title to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. It's the first since Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling!" on May 28, 2016. Speaking of Timberlake …
Solo success: "Shape" marks the first No. 1 by an artist unaccompanied by any featured acts since Timberlake's "Feeling" debuted and spent its one week at No. 1. Sheeran's new leader ends a Hot 100-record 34 consecutive weeks of No. 1s sporting featured acts, linked by Drake's "One Dance," featuring WizKid and Kyla (nine weeks at No. 1); Sia's "Cheap Thrills," featuring Sean Paul (four); The Chainsmokers' "Closer," featuring Halsey (12); Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles," featuring Gucci Mane (seven); The Weeknd's "Starboy," featuring Daft Punk (one); and, the song that "Shape" dethrones, Migos' "Bad and Boujee," featuring Lil Uzi Vert (one). (More on the four lattermost songs ahead …)
3 for '17: "Shape" is already the third song to log its first week at No. 1 on the Hot 100 on charts dated in 2017, following The Weeknd's "Starboy" and Migos' "Bad and Boujee," which climbed to No. 1 (for a week each) on the Jan. 7 and 21 charts, respectively. If that seems like quick a rate of turnover at the top, it is: since Nielsen data began powering the Hot 100 in November 1991, never before had three songs hit No. 1 for the first time each in January. Such turnover last occurred in January 1991, when Madonna's "Justify My Love" (Jan. 5), Janet Jackson's "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" (Jan. 19) and Surface's "The First Time" (Jan. 26) all reached No. 1.
What a production: With "Shape," Sheeran scores his first Hot 100 No. 1 as a producer, while co-producer Steve Mac adds his third, and first since two American Idol-related leaders in the early 2000s: he co-produced Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" (two weeks at No. 1 in 2002, and the first Hot 100 topper by an Idol contestant) and Clay Aiken's "This Is the Night" (one, 2003). (More recently, Mac had reached No. 3 as producer and co-writer of The Wanted's "Glad You Came," which hit No. 3 in 2012. He's also currently scaling the Hot 100 as co-writer and co-producer of Clean Bandit's "Rockabye," featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie, up 61-51 on the latest chart.)
Sheeran Nos. 1 and 2 in sales: As "Shape" and "Castle" start in the top two spots on Digital Song Sales, Sheeran is the first act to debut at Nos. 1 and 2 simultaneously in the chart's history. (Other acts had ranked, but not debuted, at both Nos. 1 and 2 at the same time, most recently Prince, last May 14). Meanwhile, the 240,000 that "Shape" sold in its first week mark the most for a song since Timberlake's "Feeling" roared in with 379,000 (May 28).
Notably, Sheeran's U.S. chart success with "Shape" and "Castle" accompanies his similarly striking start in his native UK, as the songs arrive at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, on the Official UK Singles chart, making him the first artist ever to debut in the list's top two simultaneously.
As Sheeran starts at No. 1 (and No. 6) on the Hot 100, Migos' "Bad and Boujee" drops to No. 2 after reaching the summit a week ago, although it sweeps the chart's top streaming, digital sales and airplay gainer awards for the biggest increases in all three metrics (among non-debuting songs). Having inspired numerous memes and tweets playing off the song's "raindrop, drop top" lyrics, "Bad" tops Streaming Songs for a third week (38.7 million U.S. streams, the song's highest weekly sum yet, up 10 percent). It also leads the audio subscription services-based On-Demand Streaming Songs chart for a third week (17.9 million on-demand clicks, up 13 percent).
"Bad" dips 2-3 on Digital Song Sales (below Sheeran's two tracks), but with a 14 percent gain to 86,000 sold, and debuts on the Radio Songs chart at No. 34 (34 million in airplay audience, up 61 percent). It additionally rules Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts for a second week each.
Likely helping "Bad," Donald Glover praised the song during his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes Jan. 8. With Migos having guested on the FX series Atlanta, created by and starring Glover, he said, "I really wanna thank the Migos, not for being in the show, but for making 'Bad and Boujee.' Like, that's the best song ever."
Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles" slips 2-3 on the Hot 100 following its seven-week command and The Weeknd's "Starboy" holds at No. 4 after its one week at No. 1.
Rounding out the Hot 100's top five, The Chainsmokers' "Closer" retreats 3-5, after spending 12 weeks at No. 1, and sets a record: having totaled all 24 of its weeks on the chart in the top 10, dating to its debut at No. 9 on Aug. 20, the collab with Halsey rewrites the mark for the most consecutive weeks tallied in the top 10 from a song's debut week. It passes Bieber's aforementioned Sheeran co-write "Love Yourself," which logged its first 23 weeks on the Hot 100 in the top 10 (Dec. 5, 2015-May 7, 2016). "Closer" additionally leads the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart for a 22nd week.
(Looking ahead to next week, The Chainsmokers should make a lofty entrance with "Paris," released Friday, Jan. 13. After its first three days of airplay, the follow-up radio single to "Closer" is already new at No. 24 on the Jan. 28-dated Pop Songs airplay chart.)
Below Sheeran's "Castle" at No. 6 on the Hot 100, Bruno Mars' "24K Magic" descends 5-7 after peaking at No. 4; Maroon 5's "Don't Wanna Know," featuring Kendrick Lamar, drops from its No. 7 peak to No. 8, while topping Radio Songs for a fifth week (145 million, up 2 percent) and taking over atop Pop Songs (2-1); Ariana Grande's "Side to Side," featuring Nicki Minaj, falls 6-9 on the Hot 100 after reaching No. 4; and Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello's "Bad Things" keeps at No. 10 after hitting No. 9 three weeks earlier.
Find out more Hot 100 news in the weekly "Hot 100 Chart Moves" column later this week, and visit Billboard.com tomorrow (Jan. 18), when all charts, including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh. The Hot 100 and other charts will also appear in the next issue of Billboard magazine, on sale Friday (20).