Ed Sheeran closed out his week-long Late Late Show residency with a spirited, full-band run through his 2017 Hot 100 No. 1 single “Shape Of You” on Thursday night (July 2). The singer — who earlier in the week noted that he’s considering adding a backing band to his typically solo performances — looked comfortable sharing the stage as he ripped through the diamond-selling smash while rocking an all-black outfit, topped by a leather jacket.
With a polyrhythmic, bouncing tropical beat propelling the arrangement, Sheeran’s vocals were shadowed by his back-up singers and an insistent electric guitar riff accenting his acoustic strumming. It’s been a busy week for Sheeran on the Late Late Show, which kicked off on Monday with the first live performance of his dance-y new single, “Bad Habits” and a story about the NSFW gift he keeps buying for his good pal Friends star Courteney Cox.
The next night, Sheeran revisited his hit “The A Team” and did a let’s-pretend-we’re-cowboys sketch with LLS host James Corden, then performed “Thinking Out Loud” with the full band mid-week. Something he teased in an interview earlier in the week also came to fruition on Thursday when BTS revealed that their upcoming CD single for “Butter” will feature a tune co-written by Sheeran, Snow Patrol singer Johnny McDaid and famed British producer Steve Mac (the team behind “Shape Of You” as well, by the way), “Permission to Dance”; “Butter” co-writer Jenna Andrews is also a writer on “Dance.”
Watch Sheeran perform “Shape of You” below.