Since the very beginning of 2017, Ed Sheeran has maintained a near-constant presence inside the upper reaches of both the main album and songs charts here in America, as the country just can’t get enough of him and his music. His album ÷ (Divide) is one of the most successful releases of the year, and its lead single “Shape Of You” only just fell outside of the top 10 this month after an extremely long stay. Throughout the months that song lived inside the highest tier on the list, it made history in a number of ways and broke many records, and for a while there, it truly seemed as if it would never disappear.
“Shape” is now on its way down, but it has left behind an undeniable legacy, and it’s difficult to actually list all of the ways the song impacted the charts, but here’s a good overview.
Just one week after it was first made available to the public, “Shape Of You” debuted at the top of the charts in a number of nations, including in the artist’s home country and the U.S., where it became his first leader on the Hot 100. The fact that Sheeran’s new poppy offering found its way to the pinnacle of the tally wasn’t exactly surprising to anybody, but it was somewhat shocking how long it ended up ruling.
Here in the States, “Shape Of You” wound up owning the No. 1 spot for 12 non-consecutive weeks, tying for the fourth-longest run at the peak of all time. In the U.K., the tropical pop tune was in charge for an incredible 14 weeks, and in Australia, the track is now the longest-running No. 1 hit of all time, with 15 frames to its credit.
At the same time that the catchy radio-ready record launched at No. 1 in territories all around the world, fellow single “Castle On The Hill” also started its less-successful charting run inside the top 10 in a few places, including both the U.S. and the U.K. Here in America, he became the first artist to start a pair of new releases inside the top 10 on the Hot 100 simultaneously, while in his home country, the songs kicked off at Nos. 1 and 2, making him the first musician to come even close to hitting that mark.
After spending a dozen turns at the top of the charts here in the U.S. (beginning when the song debuted in the lead slot), it took a long time for “Shape Of You” to work its way down the ladder, and it ended up spending many, many weeks inside the top five on the Hot 100.
In its twentieth frame on the listing, “Shape” made history by spending the most weeks inside the top five since debuting within that region, a specific, but important accomplishment. It would live within Nos. 1 and 5 for six whole months, an incredible stay anywhere on the chart, let alone inside the uppermost five positions.
After eventually dipping to No. 6, it still took many weeks before “Shape Of You” came even close to departing the top 10 entirely. In fact, after spending 20 weeks within the top five, Sheeran’s most successful single spent months within the lower reaches of the top 10, and in doing so, it broke records. First, the pop smash tied for the most weeks inside that area, and then it beat both The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” and LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live,” which both managed 32 frames, by just one week. The lengthy run inside the top 10 that “Shape” enjoyed concluded after an almost unbelievable 33 weeks, which now stands as the most consecutive turns within that tier.