Ed Sheeran, he of pop superstardom and songwriter/performer of the juggernaut that is "Shape of You," has been named the recipient of the Songwriters Hall of Fame's 2017 Hal David Starlight Award, which will be presented at the 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner on June 15 in New York.
The Hal David Starlight Award was created in 2004 in honor of Songwriters Hall Chairman Emeritus Hal David as a way of honoring gifted young songwriters making a significant impact in the music industry with original compositions. Past recipients include: Nick Jonas, Nate Ruess, Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Ne-Yo, Drake, Benny Blanco, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Rob Thomas and John Rzeznik.
“Ed Sheeran has accomplished so much in pop music that it is hard to believe he is only 26," said legendary Songwriters Hall of Fame co-chairs Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff of Philadelphia International fame, in a statement. "He is not an overnight sensation, however, having immersed himself in songwriting, recording and performing since his early teens. His natural talent as a singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer has brought him well-deserved success."
Others to be honored at this year's Songwriters Hall of Fame gala include Pitbull who was named the first-ever recipient of the Global Ambassador Award as well as 2017 SHOF inductees Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Robert Lamm & James Pankow p/k/a "Chicago," Max Martin and Shawn "Jay Z" Carter.
Ed Sheeran has sold more than 26 million albums and had some 5 billion Spotify streams with his recently-released third studio album ÷ selling over 4 million worldwide in its first week. In the U.S., ÷ entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1 scoring the biggest debut of the year with first week sales equivalents exceeding 451K units. In his native U.K., the album sold 672K and topped the Official Albums Chart with the third highest week one sales of any album in the chart’s history.
The album's first two singles, “Shape Of You” and “Castle On The Hill” entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 1 and No. 6 respectively, making Sheeran the first artist ever to have two singles make simultaneous top 10 debuts in the chart’s 58-year history. “Shape Of You” earned Sheeran his first No. 1 on the Hot 100, where it currently stands for the eighth week.
Sheeran has also written songs for other artists including Taylor Swift, One Direction, The Weeknd, Major Lazer, Tori Kelley, and Justin Bieber, who’s single “Love Yourself” was the No. 1 song on Billboard’s 2016 year-end Hot 100 chart and nominated for “Song of the Year” at this year’s Grammys. That song earned Sheeran his 11th Grammy nomination and the third in the songwriting category.
Linda Moran, the Songwriters Hall of Fame's president & ceo, stated that, “Ed is undoubtedly one of today’s most prolific and effective songwriters and is a most worthy and an ideal Hal David Starlight Award honoree."
Look for more SHOF special award honorees to be announced soon.