|By Marketwired .||
|July 2, 2014 11:20 AM EDT||
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 07/02/14 -- "x," the acclaimed new album from Atlantic recording artist Ed Sheeran, has made a spectacular chart debut, entering the SoundScan/Billboard 200 at #1. With sales in excess of 208,000 units, "x" -- pronounced "multiply" -- has scored the biggest first week for a pop album this year and 3rd highest overall.
What's more, "x" is a truly global sensation, debuting atop album charts in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, United Arab Emirates and Sheeran's own United Kingdom, where it has proven the fastest selling album of the year thus far, with first week sales in excess of 182,000.
Sheeran will mark the phenomenal success of "x" by headlining a special Independence Day edition of NBC's TODAY Toyota Concert Series, to be broadcast live from New York City's Rockefeller Center on Friday, July 4th (check local listings). Later that night, the 3x-GRAMMY Award®-nominated artist will perform at The Philly 4th of July Jam, simulcast live on VH1 and Palladia starting at 8pm ET. The event -- which will also be live-streamed on PhillyJam.VH1.com and the VH1 App -- features Philadelphia's own The Roots as the house band and a star-studded lineup that also includes Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, and Aloe Blacc.
"Don't," the next single from "x," is currently impacting multi-format radio outlets nationwide (www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TqGEbROFd4). First unveiled as part of Sheeran's memorable appearance on NBC's Saturday Night Live, the track shot to #1 on the US iTunes Overall Singles chart upon its release last month and is also featured in the ad campaign for Beats by Dre's "Beats Solo 2" headphones. The recently-released commercial has already drawn more than 6 million individual views at the official Beats by Dre YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wZKyrq4jBM. "Don't" follows the remarkable success of lead single "Sing" which arrived earlier this spring and instantly rocketed into the top 5 at Hot AC radio outlets nationwide while also ascending the top 10 at CHR/Pop and the top 15 on the overall Billboard "Hot 100." Produced and co-written by multiple GRAMMY Award®-winner Pharrell Williams, the track has also proven Sheeran's first ever #1 on Australia's "ARIA Top 100 Singles Chart" and the UK Top 40 singles chart (following four prior top 10 smashes). In addition, the recently released "Sing" companion video is approaching 15 million views at Ed's official YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlYcUqEPN58.
Tomorrow (July 3rd) beginning at 4:30pm PT/7:30pm ET, fans will have an opportunity to chat with Sheeran directly via an exclusive live Q&A hosted on the Beats Music Facebook page (www.facebook.com/beatsmusic). The following day, Beats Music will premiere the track "Friends" -- previously only available as a b-side in the UK -- and serve as the exclusive streaming partner in the US for the subsequent week.
Fast becoming one of the planet's most popular live performers, Sheeran will spend his summer starring at festivals around the world before embarking on his first-ever North American headlining arena tour, set to begin August 21st at Seattle's WaMu Theater and then travel through mid-September. Big Beat/Atlantic labelmates Rudimental will be supporting on all dates (see itinerary below). Sheeran was recently unveiled as the first announced performer at the 4th annual iHeartRadio Music Festival & Village, returning to Las Vegas' MGM Grand on September 19th and 20th. Additional tour dates will be announced soon -- for up-to-the-minute ticket information and tour updates, please visit www.edsheeran.com.
The follow-up to Sheeran's breakthrough debut album "+," "x" finds the British singer-songwriter collaborating with a stellar list of producers, including multiple GRAMMY Award®-winners Rick Rubin and Jeff Bhasker, multiple GRAMMY Award®-nominee Benny Blanco, Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid, and BRIT-Award nominee and "+" collaborator Jake Gosling. The album has earned Sheeran a remarkable amount of rapturous press attention, including cover stories in Billboard and Parade, as well as major feature profiles in Entertainment Weekly, Time, and the cover of the New York Times' Sunday Arts & Leisure section. The upcoming summer issue of Vibe -- hitting newsstands on July 22nd -- will see him starring on the cover alongside rising rappers August Alsina and Mack Wilds.
Moreover, "x" has drawn critical applause from all corners, with USA Today hailing it in a four-and-a-half-starred rave as "the rare album that satisfies expectations while simultaneously raising them... As good as Sheeran was before, he's even better now." "Mr. Sheeran is a gifted singer with a tender tone and a naturalistic way with storytelling," declared the New York Times, adding, "Though he may well be the most prominent folk-minded singer in contemporary pop, he's an open-eared experimenter at core, and saddled with none of the modesty, false or otherwise, that typically go with the folkie role." "(Sheeran) is a polyglot," noted Time, "raised on folk, R&B, hip-hop and rock in equal measure and comfortable incorporating each of those genres into his compositions."
Blending soulful vocals with organic folk introspection and irresistible hip-hop hooks, Ed Sheeran is a genuine global phenomenon. The 23-year-old British singer/songwriter's masterful debut album, "+," entered the UK Albums Chart at #1 with the highest opening sales figures for a debut male solo artist ever and is now certified 6x-platinum. Fueled by international hit singles like "The A Team" and "Lego House," "+" has enjoyed multi-platinum, platinum, and gold sales in nine countries around the world.
Here in the US, "The A Team" proved a blockbuster, earning 2x-platinum certification from the RIAA as well as a GRAMMY® Award nomination as "Song Of The Year." Sheeran also made a record-breaking chart debut with the stateside release of "+," which entered the SoundScan/Billboard 200 at #5, becoming the highest debut for a U.K. solo artist's first full-length album, since 2009. Along with his three GRAMMY® nods -- including the prestigious "Best New Artist" -- Sheeran has accrued an array of distinguished international honors, spanning two BRIT Awards ("Best Male Artist," "Best Breakthrough Artist") and the 2012 Ivor Novello Award for "Best Song Musically and Lyrically."
Long acclaimed as a captivating and creative live performer, Sheeran spent much of the past two years traversing North America on back-to-back sold-out headline tours, the latter of which including a stop at the renowned Radio City Music Hall that sold out in a matter of minutes. Following a main support role on Taylor Swift's massively successful "RED Tour," Sheeran returned to New York City for a trio of sold-out headline shows at the legendary Madison Square Garden to close out his incredible 2013.
Sheeran's honest songwriting and incredible live show has also connected with millions through the small screen with countless high profile television appearances including the 55th Annual GRAMMY® Awards (performing "The A Team" accompanied by Sir Elton John), the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, NBC's The Voice (as one of Team Christina's mentors) and Today (where he pulled in one of last summer's largest audiences into NYC's Rockefeller Plaza for the show's annual outdoor concert series), and as the youngest performer among the star-studded lineup on CBS' special "The Beatles: The Night That Changed America - A GRAMMY® Salute."
For additional news and information, please see www.edsheeran.com, www.twitter.com/EdSheeran (@EdSheeran), www.facebook.com/EdSheeranMusic and www.atlanticrecords.com. For press materials, please see http://press.atlanticrecords.com/ed-sheeran.
(TOUR ITINERARY BELOW)
NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2014
(Supported by Rudimental)
AUGUST ------------------------------------------------------------- 21 Seattle, WA WaMu Theater 23 Vancouver, BC Ambleside Live 26 San Jose, CA SAP Center 27 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center 29 Las Vegas, NV The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan 30 Las Vegas, NV The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan 31 Glendale, AZ Jobing.com Arena SEPTEMBER ------------------------------------------------------------- 2 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center 4 Cleveland, OH Wolstein Center 6 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion 8 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center 9 Boston, MA Xfinity Center 11 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Arena 12 Atlanta, GA The Arena at Gwinnett Center 13 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena 15 Minneapolis, MN Target Center 16 Chicago, IL Allstate Arena 17 Auburn Hill, MI The Palace of Auburn Hills 18 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Additional Dates To Be Announced
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