Ed Sheeran’s Divide has returned to the top of the Australian Albums Chart this week after being bumped to second place last week by Lorde’s critically-acclaimed new album Melodrama. The chart summit swap gives the “Castle on the Hill” singer his 14th non-consecutive week at No. 1 on the Aussie chart while Lorde drops to No. 2.
Sheeran has enjoyed massive success with his third studio album. It opened at No. 1 in multiple countries including his native UK Official Albums Chart, the Billboard 200 in the U.S., and the Official Irish Albums Chart. In the latter chart, Divide has been No. 1 for 12 non-consecutive weeks, also making a top slot return this week, bumping Royal Blood’s How Did We Get So Dark down to No. 4.
Meanwhile, native New Zealander Lorde edges Sheeran out of first place on the Official New Zealand Albums chart. Melodrama debuted at No. 1 and remains there for its second week. It also at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and the Canadian Albums Chart.
Melodrama is a concept album in which the tracks are thematically connected. Lorde intended for the record to play like a Greek tragedy, brimming with emotion. She discussed the parallel in a Vanity Fair interview saying, “It’s a nod to the types of emotions you experience when you’re 19 or 20. I had such an intense two years, and everything I was feeling—whether it was crying or laughing or dancing or in love—each of them felt like the most concentrated version of that emotion. I also have a love of theater and I love drawing a parallel with Greek tragedies. But there’s definitely an element of tongue-in-cheek; it’s very funny to title your record Melodrama.”
Divide, by comparison, is a thematically eclectic album boasting multicultural tracks that ooze many different global influences from “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan’s” heavy Irish themes to “Barcelona’s” Latin flavor and “Bibia Be Ye Ye’s” infectious African beats. These tracks are balanced by Sheeran’s signature acoustic ballads like “Perfect” and “How Would You Feel (Paean).
Dance-ready “Shape of You” is arguably the album’s singles rating monster, having peaked at No. 1 in over 30 countries. It notably broke an Aussie Singles chart record when it logged its 14th week at No. 1, which beat Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” 13-week chart rule back in 1995. The official music video for "Shape" has logged over 1.6 billion views on YouTube to date.
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter also broke Australasian tour records when he recently expanded his Australia and New Zealand stadium tour to include 18 shows. Sheeran will play several AXS-ticketed shows in the U.S. this summer, including a three-night stop at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Aug. 10, Aug. 11, and Aug. 12. (Click here for tickets).
Check out Ed Sheeran’s AXS artist page for a complete list of AXS-ticketed shows.