12 months + 2.8 million albums: Ed Sheeran's ÷ marks first anniversary on chart

12 months + 2.8 million albums: Ed Sheeran's ÷ marks first anniversary on chart

It’s unlikely to mark the anniversary with a No.1 finish but Ed Sheeran’s ÷ has had a spectacular 12 months on the chart. The album had sales of 2,866,019 up to March 2 and has never gone lower than No.6. Sheeran’s third LP is the fourth-biggest seller of the 2010s and is No.16 on the 21st century’s biggest sellers.

As Music Week wishes ÷ a happy first birthday, here’s a timeline of the album campaign’s high points…

March 3, 2017: Atlantic releases ÷ with predictions for big sales

March 10, 2017: The first-week sales of ÷ make Sheeran the fastest-selling male artist ever and the third fastest-selling UK album

March 13, 2017: Ed Sheeran's singles chart domination later prompts changes to the chart rules

March 14: Huge opening sales in the US consolidates its early success

April 11, 2017: The Divide Tour is announced and five million apply for tickets

June 25, 2017: As Glastonbury headliner, Sheeran closes the festival with the final performance on the Pyramid stage and 4.1 million watching him on BBC 2

June 28, 2017: Sheeran announces his 2018 stadium tour

July 10, 2017: The seven Irish dates sell out in one day, making the Divide tour the biggest number of tickets sold by an artist in Ireland in one day

September 22, 2017: Shape of You becomes the most-streamed Spotify song of all time, with 1,318,420,396 streams on the date, overtaking Drake's One Dance with 1,317,143,742 streams

October 18, 2017: Sheeran fractures his wrist in a cycling incident and pulls shows from his tour

November 28, 2017: Grammy nominations are announced with Sheeran snubbed in major categories but nominated for Best Pop Solo Album and Best Pop Solo Performance

December 5, 2017: On Spotify, ÷ is the most streamed album of the year and Sheeran is the most streamed artist. ÷ gets 3.1 billion global streams and Sheeran brings in the highest number of monthly listeners: 47 million

December 18, 2017: Sheeran is picked as Music Week’s 2017 Artist of the Year

December 22, 2017: Sheeran’s Perfect is the Christmas No. 1 with 85,000 sales, 45,000 of those from downloads and the remainder from six million streams. Eminem's River, which features Sheeran, came in second

December 29, 2017: Perfect remains in the top UK chart position and ÷ moves back into the top spot giving Sheeran a year-end chart double

January 4, 2018: ÷ is also named the best-selling 2017 album in the US

January 28, 2018: At the Grammys, ÷ wins Best Pop Solo Album and single Shape of You wins Best Pop Solo Performance, though he doesn’t perform having been left out of the top three categories

February 12, 2018: Stuart Camp, Sheeran’s manager, leaves Sir Elton John’s Rocket Music management operation

February 21, 2018: Ed Sheeran wins the BRITs Global Success Award but loses out to Stormzy in key categories

February 23, 2018: Singer Anne-Marie announces Sheeran co-write on 2002 from her upcoming debut album Speak Your Mind

February 26, 2018: The IFPI names Ed Sheeran as the world’s best-selling recording artist of 2017, presenting him with the 2017 Global Recording Artist of the Year Award

March 1, 2018: ERA names Ed Sheeran’s ÷ biggest selling entertainment title of 2017, with 2,702,839 units sold (OCC)

March 9: One calendar year since ÷ charted

By Allison Miller

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