In the early stages of the chart year, Sheeran has been close to untouchable. In January, he became the first artist to have simultaneous debuts at No. 1 and No. 2 with “Shape Of You” and “Castle On The Hill” (Atlantic/Warner), and on the release of his new album Divide, all 16 tracks charting simultaneously inside the top 40, also a new record.
This week, Sheeran locks up another chart double with Divide holding off Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. (Interscope/Universal) to claim top position on the ARIA Albums Chart for a seventh successive stint.
Sheeran clearly has a special connection with Australian audiences. His sophomore set X (Warner) spent six weeks at No. 1 in 2014 and finished the year as the market’s biggest selling album. And at the 2015 ARIA Awards, Sheeran’s album received the inaugural ARIA "Diamond" award in recognition of sales in excess of half a million. In that same year, Sheeran became the first artist to embark on a headline national arena tour completely solo (playing to 190,000 people along the way). He returned with his loop pedal and favorite guitars for a solo stadium tour later in 2015 and earlier this year returned to the market for a brief promo trip.
The four-times platinum certified “Shape Of You” this week outpaces Kendrick Lamar’s fast rising "HUMBLE.," which streaks 7-2 in its third week on the survey. The top five is completed by Sheeran’s "Galway Girl," up 4-3; The Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This” (Columbia/Sony), down 3-4; and Harry Styles’ “Sign Of The Times” (Columbia/Sony), which slumps 1-5.
With her first new single release of 2017, Lady Gaga’s “The Cure” (Interscope/Universal) scores one of the week’s highest debuts at No. 17. It’s just one place below Lamar’s “DNA,” one of three tracks from DAMN. to enter the top 40 this week (“LOYALTY.” is at No. 20 and “LOVE.” is at No. 29). DAMN. starts at No. 2 on the albums list.