Ed Sheeran is a hitmaker in his own right, but once he enlisted Queen B for his latest Billboard Hot 100 hit “Perfect,” it became as flawless as the song’s title insinuates.
According to Sheeran — who detailed how the collaboration came together to Entertainment Tonight‘s Keltie Knight at iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball in LA Friday (Dec. 1) — the original version of “Perfect” only featured an acoustic guitar. When Beyonce was tasked with recording her part of the song, she called Sheeran and said, “I don’t know how you feel about this but I’ve taken all the instruments off it and it’s just gonna be acoustic guitar.” To which Sheeran delightfully responded, “Ah that’s great, because it used to be that!”
The two went back and forth in the studio for, Sheeran estimates, four hours before Beyonce went in to record her vocals. “Went in, one take, came out,” Sheeran said.
Of course it only took Beyonce one take — but when it came to getting together with Bey, things weren’t so seamless. Sheeran noted that the song, which was released Dec. 1, has actually been in the works since May.
“Obviously she had twins [in June], and we finished [the song] in September, so I’ve been holding onto it since then,” Sheeran said of the “Perfect Duet,” which was released on Dec. 1.
More over, even getting in touch with Beyonce to begin with was tough: “I have an email address that I email that actually changes every week,” Sheeran laughs. Once the email connection happened, the two hopped on the phone and the rest is history.
Sheeran’s efforts were clearly worth it, as “Perfect” jumps from No. 5 to No. 3 on the Hot 100 this week (chart dated Dec. 16) only to be stopped by the ongoing battle for the top spot between Camila Cabello’s “Havana” and Post Malone’s still-reigning “Rockstar,” which holds at No. 1 for an eighth week.
Listen to their “Perfect Duet” below: