Grammy-Award British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran dropped his fourth studio album on July 12, 2019, called, No. 6 Collaborations Project. True to the title, the album features over 20 different artists including Bruno Mars, Chris Stapleton, Chance the Rapper, and Justin Bieber. Before he could land those big names, Sheeran worked his way up from the bottom, starting his record label in 2005.
He subsequently released nine EPs, primarily with no features, before gaining public attention and signing to Atlantic Records in January 2011. Sheeran then released three major studio albums, and his timeless music has earned him countless nominations, awards, and honors. Which one of his albums is the most successful? Keep reading to find out!
Ed Sheeran 2011 ‘+’ album
In June, Sheeran released his first single with the label, “The A Team.” The track peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart and hit number two and three in Australia and New Zealand, respectively. He dropped another single, “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” in August before releasing his debut major label album, +, pronounced “plus,” the following month. More singles came from + including “Lego House,” Sheeran’s first song to make the BBC Radio 2 playlist, peaked at number five in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. “Drunk,” also Sheeran’s fourth consecutive top ten single is now certified Platinum his native country.
In the first week, the album peaked at number one on the UK Albums Chart and sold over 2.4 million copies. + is now certified eight times Platinum in the United Kingdom, two times Platinum in the United States, and gold in France. “The A Team” earned Sheeran several awards and two Grammy nominations, and he won numerous awards for Best Breakthrough Artist.
Ed Sheeran 2014 ‘x’ album
Sheeran dropped his sophomore album, x, pronounced “multiply” in June. It peaked at number one in fifteen different countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States. X also reached the top five in seven other countries and was the best selling album in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the UK for 2014. He released x’s first single, “Sing” in April 2014, which became his first number one song.
Sheeran’s second single, “Don’t,” peaked at number nine in the US, becoming his first single to reach the top in the United States. The next single, arguably one of Sheeran’s most successful songs ever, “Thinking Out Loud,” became his second number one hit in the UK and the first song to receive over 500 million Spotify plays. The single also received several Grammy nominations and won Best Pop Solo Performance and the coveted Song of the Year Award.
He then released “Photograph” as a single, and that became his fifth consecutive song from x to peak in the UK’s top ten charts. The album went ten times Platinum in the UK and four times platinum in the US. Spotify also named the x the most-streamed album in the world for 2014. Sheeran’s album eventually broke UK singer Adele’s record for the longest charting Top 10 album in their native country’s history. X received The Brit Award for British Album of the Year and two Grammy nominations.
Ed Sheeran 2017 ‘÷‘ album
Three years later, the English singer-songwriter released his third major label album, ÷, pronounced “divide.” He released two singles on the same day in January ahead of the album titled “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You.” The latter of the two is a dancehall-infused pop song to which others would argue is Sheeran’s most known song to date.
The single peaked at number one in 34 countries, became the best performing song of 2017, and stayed at number one for an almost record-breaking 16 weeks in Canada. Sheeran’s song became the first to hit 2 billion Spotify streams and was the best-selling song of 2017. “Shape of You” earned Sheeran a second Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance and Billboard currently ranks the song as the ninth most successful single ever.
The next single, “Galway Girl,” peaked at number two in the UK and is certified multi-Platinum in 13 countries and “Perfect” hit number one in 16 different countries. ÷ sold over 672,00 copies its first week, becoming the fastest-selling album by a UK male artist. It also went number one in 14 countries, and every song on ÷ reached the top 20 on the UK Singles Chart during the first-week release. The album earned Sheeran a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album among several other recognitions.
Judging from his first three studio albums, Sheeran seemingly gets more successful with every album. He has a breakout single on each one, +’s “The A Team,” x’s “Thinking Out Loud,” and ÷’s “Shape of You” which catapults the entire project. Because of the well-performing “Shape Of You” as well as the popular love song “Perfect,” Sheeran’s 2014 album arguably is his most successful.
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