Ed Sheeran is set for the release of his second album ‘x’ in June.
It follows his critically acclaimed and hugely successful 2011 debut +; an album that was certified 6 times platinum in the UK alone and has achieved worldwide sales of over 4 million copies to date. It also saw Ed as the recipient of various awards for the record, including 2 Brits, an Ivor Novello and multiple Grammy nominations.
Never an artist to stand still, Ed recorded x at various locations around the globe (all the while drawing on experiences and influences encountered on his over three years of unrelenting touring) with such luminary producers as Rick Rubin (Eminem, Jay-Z, Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Pharrell Williams (Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, N.E.R.D), Benny Blanco (Rhianna, Wiz Khalifa) and Jeff Bhasker (Alicia Keys, Jay-Z) adding new flavours to the classy work of key collaborators Johnny McDaid (Snow Patrol) and Jake Gosling (who produced +). x has the musical ingredients to make it one of the most important global releases of this year.
The breath-taking album-closer ‘Afire Love’ was written about his grandfather who passed away last Christmas. ‘Always the hero of the family – such a cool guy – he’d been suffering with Alzheimer’s for some time and I actually started writing that song two weeks before he passed away,” Ed says. “I was thinking ‘What if?’ and then he did.’ Then there is the timeless ballad ‘Photograph’ written in May 2012 in a hotel room in Kansas whilst on tour with Snow Patrol.
McDaid had a piano loop playing on his laptop while Ed was making a Lego X-wing Fighter to give to a charity auction. He just started singing as he put the pieces together and the song grew from there. ‘Don’t’ started life as a riff on his phone and grew into another of x’s massive moments. The deluxe version of the album also includes the original song, ‘I See Fire’, which Ed wrote, produced and recorded for the second Hobbit movie. This was after Academy award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson personally commissioned him. With no promotion besides 3 tweets from his personal twitter account, it reached #2 on the UK iTunes chart.
However it’s the Pharrell-produced lead single ‘Sing’, due out in the UK on June 1, that’s pushing the envelope for him. #EdSing was the number one trend on Twitter globally ahead of launch with the track immediately tearing up airwaves nationwide including a 7-week add to Radio 1 and an unprecedented addition straight to the Super Hit list at Capital FM and Kiss Network. The audio upload on YouTube was Ed’s biggest ever launch on the channel, clocking 650k views in its first 24 hours. Already iTunes Top 5 in 15 different countries (number 3 in the US), Top 20 in 36 countries and with all chart positions climbing, ‘Sing’ is well on the way to being a global smash.
On the back of ‘Sing’s’ launch, x reached No.7 in the UK iTunes chart on pre-order alone with that success mirrored internationally with No.1 positions in the US and Canada, Top 5 in New Zealand, Sweden, Australia and Top 10 in 20 countries.
‘I’m really proud of my new album and can’t wait for people to hear it.’ Ed says. ‘It’s definitely my best work.’
Full Track Listing:
2. I’m A Mess
8. Tenerife Sea
10. The Man
11. Thinking Out Loud
12. Afire Love
Track Listing: Deluxe Version
13. Take It Back
15. Even My Dad Does Sometimes
16. I See Fire
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