Ed Sheeran’s ‘Divide’ – No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart – 2017’s Biggest Debut
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Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) blasts in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, earning a whopping 451,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 10, according to Nielsen Music. That’s the largest week for an album in 2017, and the biggest since J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only launched at No. 1 with 492,000 on the Dec. 31, 2016-dated list.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new March 25-dated chart (where Sheeran debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, March 14.
Further, ÷ starts with 322,000 in traditional album sales — again, the largest sales frame for an album since 4 Your Eyez Only debuted with 363,000 copies sold.
This is Sheeran’s second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, following the chart-topping bow of his previous studio effort, x (Multiply), in 2014. That set launched with 209,000 in traditional album sales (before the Billboard 200 transitioned to a ranking based on equivalent album units).
Ed Sheeran sets the record for the most concurrently charting songs on Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks, as he places a whopping 13 songs on the March 18-dated tally — all from his new 16-track album ÷ (Divide).
The set was released March 3, and 10 of the album’s tunes debut on the list, joining his three previously charting songs (“Shape of You,” No. 4; “Castle on the Hill,” No. 31; and “How Would You Feel [Paean],” No. 37).
Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks (which began in June 2014) is a weekly ranking of the most shared and/or mentioned songs on Twitter in the U.S., ranked by the volume of shares over a seven-day period. The latest chart, dated March 18, reflects activity in the week ending March 5.
Ed Sheeran’s 13 Songs on the March 18-Dated Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks Chart (Rank, “Song”):
No. 4, “Shape of You”
No. 9, “Perfect”
No. 16, “Dive”
No. 17, “Galway Girl”
No. 20, “Happier”
No. 25, “Supermarket Flowers”
No. 30, “Eraser”
No. 31, “Castle on the Hill”
No. 36, “Save Myself”
No. 37, “How Would You Feel (Paean)”
No. 38, “Barcelona”
No. 46, “What Do I Know?”
No. 47, “Nancy Mulligan”
Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” leads the singles chart for a ninth week, with 141,000 combined chart sales. He becomes the first artist ever to secure the entire top five, and nine of the top ten, with “Galway Girl” new at No. 2, “Castle On The Hill” holding at No. 3 and “Perfect” and “New Man” entering at Nos. 4 and 5.
“I never expected to have nine songs in the top 10 ever in my life,” Sheeran responded to Radio 1 over his chart history-making. “I don’t know if something has gone wrong, but I’m definitely very happy about it.”