Chart Watch: Ed Sheeran Breaks Bieber's Record

Paul Grein
Ed Sheeran saying cheers for the streams [Flavio Lo Scalzo / AGF/REX/Shutterstock]

Ed Sheeran‘s megahit “Shape of You” this week becomes the first single in the history of Billboard‘s Hot 100 to spend its first 20 weeks inside the top five. It breaks a record that was set last year by Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” which spent its first 19 weeks in the top five.

Good thing the two artists are pals. In fact, Sheeran co-wrote Bieber’s No. 1 smash “Love Yourself.”

“One Sweet Day,” the 1995-96 megahit by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, was the first single to spend its first 17 weeks inside the top five. The Black Eyed Peas’ 2009 smash “I Gotta Feeling” and Maroon 5’s 2012 hit “Payphone” (featuring Wiz Khalifa) equaled that mark. “Sorry” was the first song to surpass it. And now “Shape of You” has surpassed “Sorry.”

“Shape of You” tops the 2 million mark in U.S. digital sales this week. (As you probably know, digital sales aren’t what they once were, as many fans now opt for streaming. Reaching sales of 2 million today is like reaching 5 million several years ago when sales were at their peak.)

“Shape of You” hit No. 1 in 30 countries, including the U.K., Australia, and Canada. The upbeat single, which blends elements of dancehall and tropical house music, was an ideal lead single for Sheeran, who was previously mostly known for his ballads.

Top Songs

Justin Bieber is featured on two of the top three songs on the Hot 100 for the third consecutive week. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” (featuring Bieber) holds at No. 1 in its 19th week. DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One” (featuring Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne) holds at No. 3 in its fourth week.

This is the third week at No. 1 for “Despacito.” That puts it in a tie with “Sorry” as Bieber’s longest-running No. 1 hit to date. The song sold 137K digital copies this week, which puts it at No. 1 on Top Digital Songs for the fourth week.

“Despacito” and “I’m the One” also hold down the top two spots on the Official U.K. Singles Chart for the third straight week.

Bruno Mars’s “That’s What I Like” holds at in its 19th week. The song hit No. 1 three weeks ago.

Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.” rebounds from No. 5 to No. 4 in its eighth week. The song reached No. 1.

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” dips from No. 4 to No. 5 in its 20th week. The song logged 12 weeks at No. 1.

Future’s “Mask Off” rebounds from No. 7 to No. 6 in its 14th week. The song has climbed as high as No. 5.

“Stay” by Zedd & Alessia Cara jumps from No. 9 to No. 7 in its 13th week. This equals its highest ranking to date.

“Something Just Like This” by the Chainsmokers and Coldplay drops from No. 6 to No. 8 in its 14th week. The song peaked at No. 3.

Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO TOUR Llif3” dips from its No. 8 peak to No. 9 in its ninth week.

“It Ain’t Me” by Kygo and Selena Gomez rebounds from No. 12 to No. 10 in its 15th week. This equals its highest ranking to date. Gomez’s follow-up, “Bad Liar,” is also on the move. It vaults from No. 80 to No. 27 in its second week, becoming the 14th top 30 hit of Gomez’s career. That tally includes four early hits she recorded with her band, the Scene.)

Miley Cyrus’s “Malibu” unexpectedly drops out of the top 10 this week.

Imagine Dragons land their fifth top 15 hit as “Believer” jumps from No. 20 to No. 15 in its 16th week.

Liam Payne becomes the third founding member of One Direction to land a Hot 100 hit as “Strip That Down” (featuring Quavo) debuts at No. 42. (It’s the week’s top new entry.) Zayn reached No. 1 with “Pillowtalk.” Harry Styles has climbed as high as No. 4 with “Sign of the Times.” The two other founding members of the group have also landed chart hits. Niall Horan’s “This Town” peaked at No. 20. Louis Tomlinson’s “Just Hold On,” a collabo with Steve Aoki, reached No. 52.

Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish” (featuring Nicki Minaj) debuts at No. 47. It’s Perry’s response to Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” (featuring Kendrick Lamar), which reached No. 1 two summers ago. At least this feud is giving promotional opportunities to top rappers. This marks the first time that Perry has collaborated with another female artist on a Hot 100 hit.

Camila Cabello’s “Crying in the Club” debuts at No. 47. It’s her first strictly solo release, following seven chart hits with Fifth Harmony and charted collabos with Shawn Mendes and Machine Gun Kelly.

Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. The song reached No. 6 on the Hot 100 and logs its 16th week at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs. That’s the longest run at No. 1 since Florida Georgia Line’s “H.O.L.Y.” had 18 weeks on top last year. It’s the longest run at No. 1 by a male solo artist since Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man” had 17 weeks on top in 2015-16.

Top Albums

Linkin Park’s One More Light enters the Billboard 200 at No. 1. Linkin Park is one of three bands that originated in the Los Angeles area to land six No. 1 albums. The others are Eagles and Metallica. This is Linkin Park’s 10th top 10 album or EP. All seven of the band’s regular studio albums have made the top three.

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. rebounds from No. 3 to No. 2 in its sixth week.

Harry Styles’s eponymous debut album drops from No. 1 to No. 3 in its second week.

Drake’s More Life rebounds from No. 7 to No. 4 in its 10th week, in the wake of his sweep of last week’s Billboard Music Awards. It spent its first three weeks on top.

Chris Stapleton’s From a Room: Volume 1 dips from No. 4 to No. 5 in its third week. The album debuted and peaked at No. 2. It returns to No. 1 on Top Country Albums, displacing Zac Brown Band’s Welcome Home.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ rebounds from No. 9 to No. 6 in its 12th week. It spent its first two weeks at No. 1. The album returns to No. 1 on The Official U.K. Albums Chart. This is its 10th week on top. Sheeran’s previous album, x, spent 13 weeks on top in the U.K. He is the first artist since Adele to spend 10 or more weeks at No. 1 with back-to-back albums.

Bruno Mars’s 24K Magic rebounds from No. 10 to No. 7 in its 27th week. The album has yet to fall out of the top 10. It logged four weeks at No. 2.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 drops from No. 5 to No. 8 in its fifth week. The album is No. 1 on the Top Soundtracks chart for the fourth week. The movie was No. 2 at the box office for the second weekend in a row. It spent its first two weekends at No. 1.

EPIC AF (Yellow/Pink) rebounds from No. 12 to No. 9 in its fourth week. The compilation has climbed as high as No. 6.

Migos’s Culture rebounds from No. 13 to No. 10 in its 17th week. The album debuted at No. 1.

Three albums drop out of the top 10 this week: Zac Brown Band’s Welcome Home drops from No. 2 to No.15, Paramore’s After Laughter dives from No. 6 to No. 32, and Machine Gun Kelly’s bloom drops from No. 8 to No. 24.

Rascal Flatts’ Back to Us debuts at No. 11. This is the trio’s first non-holiday studio album to fall short of the top 10 since its 2000 debut album, Rascal Flatts, which peaked at No. 43. Back to Us enters Top Country Albums at No. 2. It’s the trio’s first non-holiday studio album to fall short of the top spot on the country chart since Rascal Flatts, which peaked at No. 3 on the country chart. Back to Us would have made the top 10 on the Billboard 200 if the chart were still based strictly on traditional sales. (But it would still have debuted at No. 2 on the country chart.)

Soundgarden’s Superunknown jumps from No. 32 to No. 28 in its 79th week, in the first full week following Chris Cornell’s death. The album moves up from No. 2 to No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums. Soundgarden is the sixth group to top the catalog chart following the death of a key member (in the Nielsen era). It follows Nirvana, whose Bleach topped the catalog chart in May 1994 following Kurt Cobain’s death; the Grateful Dead, whose The Best Of/Skeletons from the Closet topped the catalog chart in August 1995 following Jerry Garcia’s death; the Bee Gees, whose One Night Only hit No. 1 in February 2003 following Maurice Gibb’s death; the Beastie Boys, whose Licensed to Ill topped the catalog chart in May 2012 following Adam Yauch’s death; and Prince & The Revolution, whose Purple Rain soundtrack hit No. 1 in May 2016 following Prince’s death.

Coming attractions: Look for Bryson Tiller’s True to Self to make a potent debut next week. Also due: Lil Yachty’s Teenage Emotions and a 50th anniversary edition of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.


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