For a song that barely made it on Ed Sheeran’s third studio album, ÷ (Divide), “Shape of You” has reached a first-ever milestone in streaming. The lead single off Sheeran’s 2017 release has become the first song to ever reach three billion streams on Spotify. The milestone makes Sheeran the first artist on Spotify to have a song surpass this number of streams.
“I’ve just heard ‘Shape of You’ has reached three billion streams on Spotify, which is absolutely insane,” said Sheeran on Instagram. “I remember this song hitting a billion and thinking that was weird. It’s the first song to hit three billion streams, and I’m really chuffed with it.”
Sheeran shared that when he was recording ÷ (Divide), the song was not even part of the initial track list.
“‘Shape Of You’ wasn’t really meant to make the album,” says Sheeran. “I got into writing other songs for people and the album was done, but when I finished making the song, Ben Cook, from my record label was saying ‘you have to put this on the album. It has to be a single,’ and I wanted ‘Castle on the Hill’ to be first. That’s going to be bigger.”
He added, “We agreed to disagree and put both songs out at once, and I have to say ‘Ben, I was wrong, and you were very much right.’ And here we are with ‘Shape of You’ at three billion.”
Upon release, the song spent 59 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it remained at No. 1 for 12 weeks then peaked at No. 6 for 33 weeks. In total, ÷ (Divide) spent 250 weeks on the Billboard 200.
Several of Sheeran’s previous tracks, including “Galway Girl” and “Happier” have already landed on the Spotify Billions Club playlist.
Earlier in 2021, Sheeran dropped his fourth studio album, = (EQUALS), in addition to creating Experience EQUALS, a mobile-only format for fans to connect with the album with exclusive content.
Photos: Dan Martensen