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Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ Crowns Pop Songs & Adult Pop Songs Airplay Charts

The ballad marks his third and fourth trip to the top of each respective list.

Ed Sheeran‘s “Perfect” hits No. 1 on both Billboard‘s Pop Songs and Adult Pop Songs radio airplay charts, rising 2-1 on each ranking (dated Jan. 20).

The ballad marks Sheeran’s third No. 1 on Pop Songs, following “Thinking Out Loud,” for a week in 2015, and “Shape of You,” which began a nine-week reign last March. “Shape” and “Perfect” are both from Sheeran’s 2017 album ÷ (Divide).

On Adult Pop Songs, Sheeran previously led with “Thinking,” “Photograph” (each for six weeks in 2015) and “Shape” (12 weeks).

The Pop Songs chart measures total weekly plays, as tabulated by Nielsen Music, among its reporting panel of 161 mainstream top 40 stations. Adult Pop Songs tracks plays on 85 adult top 40 stations.

Double-domination fun fact: the last song to post its first week at No. 1 on both Pop Songs and Adult Pop Songs in the same week? Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” (June 18, 2016).

Notably, “Perfect” has reverted to being billed as by Sheeran solo on almost all Billboard charts after five weeks in which Beyoncé received co-lead credit following the release of its duet version. After its first week of release, that version was the most dominant in sales and streams, while also receiving significant airplay, as it was being promoted to radio.

After multiple weeks of the duet no longer contributing the bulk of its sales (or streams or airplay), only Sheeran is now credited (except on Rhythmic Songs, where Beyonce remains co-billed, as that version is still logging notable activity at the format); all versions will continue to contribute to the song’s singular chart listing.

This practice of temporarily adding artist credit while a particular version factors heavily into a song’s success has been applied to previous singles, including, for example, Rihanna’s “S&M” (Britney Spears) and Spears’ “Till the World Ends” (Nicki Minaj and Kesha), both in 2011.


Concurrently, Sheeran adds his ninth top 10 on Pop Songs as featured, with Future, on Taylor Swift‘s “End Game,” which rises 11-10. The track reaches the region a week shy of the fifth anniversary of Sheeran’s first ascent to the Pop Songs top 10, with “The A Team,” which climbed from No. 11 to its No. 9 peak on the chart dated Jan. 26, 2013. (One of the lyrics in “End Game”? “I wanna be your A team.”)

Swift scores her 15th Pop Songs top 10 and the second from her latest album, Reputation. Lead single “Look What You Made Me Do” topped the Oct. 28-dated chart. (Second single “…Ready for It?” reached No. 12 in December.)

Future earns his second Pop Songs top 10, following his featured turn on Maroon 5’s “Cold” (No. 8, last May).

“Perfect” has led the all-genre streaming, airplay and sales-based Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks running; highlights of the survey will post tomorrow (Jan. 16) and all charts will update Wednesday (Jan. 17) on