Chart Beat

Ed Sheeran Smashes U.K. Record Books: 672,000 in Album Sales, 16 Songs in Top 20 of Singles Chart

Ed Sheeran
Greg Williams

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran makes his expected arrival atop the U.K. album chart with ÷ (aka Divide, Asylum/Warner Music) with an astonishing total of 672,000 combined units. That's the third fastest-seller ever, according to the Official Charts Company, and the highest-ever opening sale for a male artist. His complete domination of the sales week is emphasized even more by the fact that all 16 tracks from the album are in the singles top 20, which no artist has come close to achieving before.

Only Adele's 25, with 800,000 opening sales, and Oasis' Be Here Now (696,000) have enjoyed higher first-week totals in U.K. chart history. ÷, which instantly goes double platinum, sells more than the rest of the top 500 titles in the album chart combined. The OCC reports that 62% of Sheeran's album sales were physical and 26% from downloads, with 12% from the equivalent sales of 79,000 streams. That latter statistic is itself a record, overtaking the record set only last week by Stormzy's Gang Signs & Prayer (Merky). 

"I never expected to have nine songs in the top 10 ever in my life," Sheeran responded to Radio 1 over his chart history-making. "I don't know if something has gone wrong, but I'm definitely very happy about it."

Rag 'n' Bone Man's former No. 1 Human (Best Laid Plans/Columbia/Sony Music) holds at No. 2, as the Stormzy album dips 1-3. Sheeran has three of the album top five, as x falls 3-4 and + rises 12-5. Alison Krauss enters at No. 6 with Windy City (Capitol/Decca/ Universal) and musical theater boy band Collabro's Home (Peak Productions) at No. 7.

Sheeran's “Shape Of You” leads the singles chart for a ninth week, with 141,000 combined chart sales. He becomes the first artist ever to secure the entire top five, and nine of the top ten, with “Galway Girl” new at No. 2, “Castle On The Hill” holding at No. 3 and “Perfect” and “New Man” entering at Nos. 4 and 5.