Ed Sheeran has been honoured with a special Brit Billion Award as he becomes the first British artist to surpass 10 billion streams in the UK.
The singer-songwriter, 32, was presented with the Gold award by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the record industry’s trade association, following analysis by the Official Charts Company.
According to its data, more than one billion of the streams occurred in the last 12 months.
Three of his tracks are also within the top 10 most-streamed songs of all time with Shape Of You taking the second spot, Perfect at number three and Bad Habits holding on to number nine.
Sheeran said: “It’s wonderful to receive the first-ever Brit Billion Award in the UK for 10 billion streams.
Following the news, he added: “I want to say a big thank you to my fans. None of this is possible without you guys x.”
The seven-time Brit Award winner has dominated the charts across his career, with all six of his studio albums peaking at number one.
Last Friday, he released his latest album, Autumn Variations, which is his second record this year after producing the chart-topping – (Subtract) in May.
The singer told GQ Hype magazine that he wanted the album to convey the emotions of moving from Summer to Autumn in the UK, saying: “You go from this joyous festival season to just wet grey loneliness.”
Sheeran approached this album differently as he did not put out any singles in advance nor did he release it with his usual major label Atlantic Records.
He explained: “I don’t want people mistaking what it is. I don’t want people thinking this is my next pop blockbuster and I’m going to tour this in the stadiums and stuff.
“It very much is an album about autumn that I wanted to put out there.
“And I know in 20 years’ time it’s going to be a fan favourite, but at the moment nobody really knows what it is.”
Reflecting on what he thinks has attracted so many to his music, he told the magazine: “I think everyone loves love, and everyone feels low, and I feel like those are the two subjects that I’ve written most about.”
He added: “I think that any song that people connect with has to feel uncomfortable while you’re writing it.
“When I was writing Perfect I thought ‘This is really cheesy, Cherry is going think that I’m like the cheesiest f****** boyfriend’ and you know, when I was writing Salt Water, which is all about imagining your own suicide, I was like, ‘F***, I don’t want to put this out and have my parents listen to this.”
The full feature with Ed Sheeran is available online at GQ Hype now.