Ed Sheeran has made history Down Under by becoming the first artist to have simultaneous debuts at No. 1 and No. 2 on the ARIA Singles Chart, while three soundtracks manage a feat never seen before on the national albums chart.
Sheeran sets a new record with “Shape Of You” (Asylum/Warner) and “Castle On The Hill” (Atlantic/Warner), respectively, which earn the solo star a return to the market’s top 50 as a lead artist for the first time since “Photograph” cracked the top 10 back in June 2015.
“Shape Of You” becomes the English singer’s third No. 1 on the national singles chart, after “Sing” (May 2014) and “Thinking Out Loud” (October 2014).
Sheeran has a special affinity with Australia. 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-ever artist to undertake 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.
Meanwhile, X this week leaps 45-9 on the ARIA Albums Chart for its 86th week on the survey, while his debut album + re-enters the top 50 at No. 32 in its 163rd week.
“Shape Of You” and “Castle On The Hill” have now done the double-double. The tracks are also No. 1 and No. 2 in the U.K., and “Shape of You" is set to blow into the Billboard Hot 100 chart, possibly with a debut at No. 1 (with "Castle on the Hill" shaping for a top 10 bow).
The two new songs dropped Jan. 6 ahead of Sheeran’s forthcoming third album album ÷ (pronounced "Divide"), due March 3.
Sheeran’s comeback tracks end Clean Bandit’s unbroken chart reign with "Rockabye" (EastWest/Warner) at six weeks. "Rockabye," featuring Sean Paul & Anne-Marie, is now at No. 3 on the Australian chart while Zayn & Taylor Swift's “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” (Republic/Universal) dips 3-4 and Andy Grammer hits the top five for the first time in his career with “Fresh Eyes” (Liberation/Universal), up 9-5.
Other notable climbers include Train’s “Play That Song,” which leaps 23-8 for the American pop-rock outfit’s third top ten single and first since “Hey, Soul Sister” reached the top spot in March 2010. And homegrown electronic act Pnau earn their highest charting single with ”Chameleon,” jumping 22-15.
Machine Gun Kelly's much-hyped “Bad Things” collab with former Fifth Harmony singer Camila Cabello debuts at No. 31 on the ARIA Singles Chart, marking the first time either artist has hit the top 50 individually. As a member of Fifth Harmony, Cabello last charted with “All In My Head (Flex)” in July 2016 (the song peaked out at No. 19).
For the first time ever, soundtracks are 1-2-3 on the latest ARIA Albums Chart, with the Trolls (RCA/Sony) soundtrack holding top spot for a second-successive week, Sing (Universal) improving 3-2 and Moana (Walt Disney/Universal) rising 4-3.