Chart Beat

Ed Sheeran Set For Another Week of U.K. Singles Chart Dominance

Ed Sheeran performs at the Natural History Museum in London.
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Ed Sheeran performs at the Natural History Museum in London. 

Ed Sheeran’s record-breaking comeback tracks are on course for another lockdown of the top tier on the U.K. singles chart while the xx's new album is an early leader for the albums chart title.

Sheeran’s “Shape of You” (Asylum) and “Castle on the Hill” continue to occupy positions 1-2 on the Official Singles Chart Update, with “Shape” generating 34,000 downloads and 3.5 million streams in just the first three days of the new chart week, according to the OCC. 

The English singer and songwriter last week became the first artist to debut in the top two spots on the Official Singles Chart in the same week, and he’s the first living British solo act to hold the top two chart positions in the same week (John Lennon posthumously did so in 1981).

The two new tracks also shattered the U.K.'s all-time streaming record for most plays in a single chart frame, with “Shape” generating an all-time high of 13.4 million streams (“Castle” managed 11.07 million streams).

Brits Critics’ Choice Award recipient Rag ‘N’ Bone Man is at No. 3 on the midweek survey with “Human” (Best Laid Plans/Columbia), a song he performed at last weekend’s televised Brit Awards nominations ceremony, while Jax Jones & Raye’s dance track “You Don't Know Me” (Polydor) is at No. 4 and Clean Bandit’s hit “Rockabye” (Atlantic) completes the top 5. 

The highest-placed debut at the halfway stage comes from The Chainsmokers with their nostalgic new single "Paris." It's new at No. 10. 

Homegrown electro alt-pop act the xx should complete a triumphant comeback with their third album I See You (Young Turks), which is hurtling toward the U.K. No. 1 with a lead of almost 10,000 combined sales over Little Mix’s Glory Days (Syco), the No. 2-placed album on the Official Albums Chart Update.

Should I See You remain at the top when the Official U.K. Albums Chart is published this Friday, it’ll earn the xx their second No. 1 album after the trio’s sophomore set Coexist from 2012. The band’s debut xx won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize in September 2010.

The La La Land cast recording (Interscope) is new at No. 3 on the midweek chart, Bonobo’s Migration (Ninja Tune) starts at No. 4 and veteran DJ Pete Tong’s Classic House (with the Heritage Orchestra via Polydor/UMC/UMOD) is at No. 5. Keyboard legend Rick Wakeman’s new release Piano Portraits (UMC) is just one place behind, at No. 6.