Fans of British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran had been waiting almost three years for the release of his third studio album. The music world was expecting big things from the artist's come-back, but ÷ ("Divide") has enjoyed unprecedented success, notching up a string of impressive world records since the first tracks from the album were released on 6 January.
The long-player debuted at No.1 on this week's UK Official Albums Chart and has become the Fastest-selling pop album in the UK by a male artist of all time.
With a staggering 672,000 first-week sales and downloads, it has sold more copies in its first week than the rest of the UK's Top 500 albums combined.
The hugely-popular musician currently has a grand total of 16 tracks in the UK Top 20 – a feat which has also earned Ed the record for Most simultaneous UK Top 20 singles.
The previous UK record was five simultaneous Top 20 songs, shared by Ruby Murray (1955), Bill Haley and his Comets (1956), Elvis Presley (1957) and Michael Jackson (2009).
All 16 tracks from the deluxe edition of ÷ crashed into Spotify's Global Top 50 streaming chart on 3 March, as well as the Top 50 in 12 international markets (Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and the UK). In the UK and Ireland, the 16 tracks claimed the entire Top 16 spaces.
On 9 January, "Shape of You" became the Most streamed track on Spotify in 24 hours. The song was premiered on BBC Radio 1 (UK) the day before and racked up 6.13 million streams in the first 24 hours before jumping to 6.58 million on 7 January and then 7.24 million times on 9 January 2017.
All three totals smashed Spotify's previous 24-hour streaming record, set on 31 July 2015 by One Direction's "Drag Me Down", with 4.75 million streams.
With the initial release of "Shape of You" and "Castle on the Hill", Sheeran also became both the First act to debut in UK Top 10 with two singles simultaneously and First act to debut in US Top 10 with two singles simultaneously.
On 10 March 2017, the day Sheeran's UK chart domination was officially confirmed, all 16 songs were still in the Global Top 50, led by "Shape of You" (8,687,867 daily plays) at No.1 and "Galway Girl" (4,715,748 daily plays) at No.2.
These achievements add to Ed Sheeran’s ever-growing tally of Guinness World Records titles.
In 2015, the 26-year-old singer set a new record for Most consecutive weeks in UK Top 40 (one single) with "Thinking Out Loud", the third single from his second album x ("multiply"). This broke the record of 49, set by Pharrell Williams (USA) in 2014 with "Happy".
The ballad also took a record-breaking 19 weeks to reach No.1 on the UK's Official Singles Chart – the Longest time to reach No.1 on UK singles chart (one run).
"Thinking Out Loud" debuted at No.26 on the chart dated 5 July 2014 and peaked at No.1 on 8 November 2014. It then spent all 19 weeks inside the Top 30 and climbed to No.1 after the singer-songwriter had performed it live on the popular TV show The X Factor on 26 October.