Heavy exposure has sparked Ed Sheeran’s rise to No. 1

Claire Atkinson

New York Post

12th March 2017

troubadour Ed Sheeran is exploding. “Divide,” the third album from the Brit, is expected to debut at No. 1 when the US album charts are released on Monday, industry sources tell The Post.

With 450, 000 albums sold in its first week, “Divide,” released by Warner Music’s Atlantic Records on March 3, will more than double the sales of his 2014 album, “Multiply” — and triple the sales of Big Sean’s “Decided” album, which had posted 2017’s best performance. The results are a sweet payoff for the Sheeran, who has been out on the road and in front of the cameras promoting the album for weeks. “I’ve always said that I wasn’t going to be outworked,” Sheeran told The Post in an last week.

“It’s the one thing that you can absolutely control,” he added. “With each new album, including ‘Divide,’ I’ve always told my record company to put me to work — and they definitely have. ” “Divide” is No.

1 on iTunes charts in 97 countries. It notched 375 million streams, breaking the Spotify’s record, according to Atlantic. “Shape of You,” the first single off the album, is No.

1 on Billboard’s singles chart. Sheeran is also benefitting from a savvy business strategy, different from other top artists such as Adele, Beyoncé, Rihanna and Drake, who either held music off streaming or opted for a limited exclusive window with a single streaming partner such as Tidal or Apple Music. Sheeran’s songs are available on all platforms.

“He is a workhorse. He wants to be the biggest artist in the world,” said Atlantic Records Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Julie Greenwald, reeling off his recent appearances on Howard Stern, “SNL” and “The Tonight Show. ” In May, he will appear on James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke.

” A tour kicks off next week. Sheeran’s hard work was on display in February when, in 72 hours, he flew from Australia to New York to do “SNL,” then immediately hopped on a plane to make a 9 a. m.

rehearsal for the Grammys in Los Angeles. The next day he appeared on “Ellen,” taped a Grammys tribute to the Bee Gees and a radio spot, and then performed at the Grammys. Sheeran is also helping with marketing.

He told Greenwald he wanted to release two singles, “Shape” and “Castle,” so fans could hear the different kinds of music. “When he put out the two songs, it went kaflooey,” Greenwald said. Video from the album have a combined 1 billion views on YouTube.

The record label executive recalled how Sheeran started at the Mercury Lounge on Houston Street performing for 150 people — and within two years was playing The Garden. Sheeran is even when the cameras aren’t on. On Wednesday, he spent the day celebrating at his record label with champagne and balloons.

He wouldn’t leave, someone at the party said, until every employee that wanted one got a selfie with him..
 

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