Ed Sheeran, Elbow Chasing U.K. Chart Titles

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Ed Sheeran performs at the Natural History Museum in London. 

Ed Sheeran is sailing to a fifth week atop the U.K. singles chart while Elbow is chasing a second No. 1 on the albums chart. 

At the halfway stage in the chart cycle, Sheeran’s "Shape Of You” (Asylum) is the clear leader for the title. The track is No. 1 on the Chart Update having clocked up 2.57 million streams and 22,000 downloads at the midweek point, according to the Official Charts Company, with "Castle On The Hill" close behind at No. 2.

Sheeran, who earlier this week announced his participation in the 2017 Brit Awards (and earned a special emoji for his efforts), has already smashed a handful of records with his comeback singles. 

With “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill,” Sheeran 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).

Jax Jones featuring Raye’s “You Don’t Know Me” (Polydor), Little Mix“Touch” (Syco) and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man’s “Human” (Best Laid Plans/Columbia) complete an unchanged top 5 while Brit Award nominated grime MC Stormzy’s “Big For Your Boots” (Merky) is the highest new entry, at No. 8.

On the Albums Chart Update, Elbow takes the lead with their seventh studio album Little Fictions (Polydor). The LP shifted 28,000 copies at the midweek stage, according to the OCC, and is on track to become the alternative rock veterans’ second chart-topper after their 2014 and most recent set, The Take Off and Landing of Everything.

Another No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart would cap an eventful week for the band. Elbow frontman Guy Garvey has just announced that he is about to become a dad for the first time (his wife Rachael Stirling is the daughter of British actor Diana Rigg).

The Official U.K. Singles and Albums Charts are published every Friday.