While the songs with a billion-plus streams aren’t that uncommon — Spotify’s “Billions Club” playlist has more than 190 songs, including several others from Sheeran — three billion is a first.
Sheeran clearly saw the milestone coming, as he quickly posted a video on Instagram talking about it.
In the video, Sheeran says he couldn’t be more “chuffed” about the news, calling it, “absolutely insane,” before discussing the origin of the song. “ [‘Shape Of You’] Wasn’t really meant to make the album,” he says, “but when I finished making the song, Ben Cook, from my label, said it had to be a single – but I wanted ‘Castle on the Hill’ to be the single. We put both songs out at once and…I was wrong. Here we are with ‘Shape of You’ at 3 billion.”
Earlier this year, Ed Sheeran dropped his fourth studio album, = (EQUALS), which took the #1 spot on the Spotify Top 10 Album Debuts charts both globally and in the U.S. In its review, Variety wrote: Ultimately, you already know if you’re going to like “=.” If Sheeran’s previous albums evoked a genuine emotional response, you’re in for a treat. If not, this isn’t going to change your mind. The songsmith unashamedly sticks to his winning formula on album four, which makes perfect sense commercially. However, you can’t help but think that a master melody-maker like Sheeran still has something extraordinary up his sleeve.