Ed Sheeran fans around the world are rejoicing the end of a year long hiatus after the artist released two new singles “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” and announced the release of a brand new album. The album, “÷” (Divide), is set to release on March 3.
On Dec. 12, 2015, Sheeran posted an Instagram photo explaining that he was taking some time to himself to travel the world and write, saying, “see you in the fall.” As fall rolled around with no sign from Sheeran, fans became discouraged.
On, Dec. 12, 2016, exactly one year to the minute from when he posted his last update, he uploaded a photo to his social media accounts with no caption.
After a few weeks passed with no other social media posts, Sheeran finally confirmed on Jan. 1, 2017, that he was back when he tweeted a video of himself holding up a white sign saying, “New music coming Friday.”
Throughout the week, Sheeran teased his new music, tweeting videos of a blue background with two dots that turned into one line. Fans suspected from there on out that the new album would be titled “÷” (Divide), following his first two albums “+” (Plus) and “x” (Multiply). But, it wasn’t for a few more weeks that these suspicions would be confirmed or denied.
He continued to tease fans throughout the week, tweeting two more videos, one with the quote “the club isn’t the best lace to find a lover,” and “when I was six years old I broke my leg.” Fans assumed that they were lyrics to songs that would be released that Friday.
All of the suspicions were confirmed Jan. 6. This gave hope to the many fans that were concerned music would not actually be released after Sheeran broke his promise that he would return in the fall.
Sheeran dropped the two new singles to iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify. The single “Shape of You” has been streamed over 80 million times and “Castle on the Hill” over 50 million. These numbers have broken numerous Spotify records with “Shape of You” being the song with the most streams ever within a week with over 52 million streams. It also broke the record for most streams in a day with over 7 million, surpassing Adele’s record for “Hello” by a longshot.
If that’s not enough to prove that 2017 is Sheeran’s comeback year, “Shape of You” premiered at number one on the Billboard Top 100, which is his first ever number one song debut. He’s also the first artist to ever release two songs that both debut in the top ten.
After fans got a chance to let the return sink in and listen to the singles on repeat for days, Sheeran confirmed through social media that his third album “÷” will be released via Atlantic Records on March 3.
Fans are ecstatic at the news and are dying to hear the rest of the album. Sheeran has even gained thousands of new fans along the way with the incredible amount of social media hype that his surprise posts have created.
What’s next for Sheeran? A tour? Music videos? Televison performances? If “÷” does as good as his previous albums did, there is a lot in store from the singer-songwriter.
“÷” is available for pre-order now through edsheeran.com or atlanticrecords.com and will be released on Spotify and Apple Music March 3rd.