Cast your mind back to January 2017: there were only two Ed Sheeran studio albums in existence and the world was a bleaker place. X, released two and a half years previously, seemed worlds away and we were in desperate need of new Ed Sheeran music in our lives. Hearing a new Ed Sheeran song for the first time was a feeling we’d almost forgotten but, sure enough, 6th January came around and BBC Radio 1 were broadcasting the debut plays of ‘Castle on the Hill’ and ‘Shape of You’ – at 5am, no less.
2017 had officially become Ed Sheeran’s year.
Prior to the release of these two tracks, Ed had been pretty cryptic on Instagram. Ending his social media hiatus on 13th December 2016, exactly one year after it began, he first introduced us to the blue colour of the third album (though we didn’t know it yet) with an Instagram post. Then, 1st January hit and, in true understated Ed style, it was announced that new music was on its way. Everybody stay calm.
By 11th January we knew the album title ‘÷‘ and the tracklist and suddenly a third Ed Sheeran album started to feel very real.
The remainder of January (as if it could get any better) saw the release of both the ‘Castle on the Hill’ and the ‘Shape of You’ music videos. The former was filmed in Ed’s hometown of Framlingham, Suffolk and stars teenagers from his actual high school, whilst ‘Shape of You’ sees Ed in some kind of boxing romance movie which has been viewed an unbelievable 2.8 billion times.
We’re still not over it, either.
Whilst all that was going on, Ed managed to drop in an announcement for a ‘÷‘ world tour. Running from March 2017 to November 2018, the tour will eventually total at 197 shows, which, if you’re interested, equals 12 hours, 48 minutes and 18 seconds of ‘Shape of You’. We did the maths.
Before the album even had chance to be released, Ed decided to drop another single ‘How Would You Feel (Paean)’ because, ya know, it was his 26th birthday and he was feeling festive.
THEN he decided to drop ‘Eraser’ because why release an album when you can release all your singles prematurely instead? (Okay so the version he released was different to the album version but still). And yes, we are only on February.
February also saw Ed take to the stage at The Brit Awards, featuring the iconic Stormzy collab on ‘Shape of You’ which quickly became a British national treasure.
3rd March came around and ‘÷‘ was upon us. ‘Dive’, ‘Supermarket Flowers’ and ‘Save Myself’ had us crying; ‘Barcelona’, ‘Galway Girl’ and ‘Bibia Be Ye Ye’ had us dancing; ‘Hearts Don’t Break Around Here’ and ‘Perfect’ had us falling in love; and ‘What Do I Know?’ had us ready to take on the world.
Millions of album sales later, ‘÷‘ is one of the best selling albums of our time, with ‘Shape of You’ recently going 5x platinum (3 million sales) in the UK alone. That literally means 1 in 20 people in the UK have bought ‘Shape of You’. No wonder he was voted to replace the Prime Minister.
The ‘÷‘ tour kicked off in Turin, Italy less than two weeks after the album’s release and Ed was amazed to find that Italian fans already knew all the words to the new songs. We wouldn’t expect anything less.
After touring Europe and the UK, Ed paused to drop the ‘Galway Girl’ music video starring Saoirse Ronan in May, before continuing to tour South and North America.
Of course, you can’t be a successful music artist these days without participating in Carpool Karaoke so, to our delight, Ed appeared in James Corden’s passenger seat in June to sing a few tunes and, erm, fit 55 Maltesers in his mouth.
Other cool things done by Ed this year include headlining Glastonbury festival in June and cameo-ing in Game of Thrones – both of which were met with kinda negative public reaction. However, Ed has made it pretty clear that he’s not gonna worry about what people think.
If there was ever a song that promoted such positive vibes, it’s ‘Bibia Be Ye Ye’, meaning ‘all will be well’, which Ed released the music video for in the summer to showcase the beauty of Ghana and his love for the country.
Ed Sheeran has won and been nominated for a ton of awards in 2017, including winning Artist of the Year at the MTV VMAs and being nominated for two 2018 Grammys. Watch this space.
He was also recently awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music and charity.
Another of Ed’s many awards this year was the Q Award for Best Act in the World Today, which he had to accept with two bandaged arms following a bicycle accident that left him with a fractured wrist and elbow.
Ed cancelled five Asia shows due to his injury but this wasn’t all bad; being confined to his sofa meant Ed could appear on Channel 4’s Gogglebox for Stand Up 2 Cancer (although tbh Big Narstie did kinda steal the limelight).
The final ‘÷‘ music video of the year was of course that for ‘Perfect’, released in November, which featured Ed and Zoey Deutch doing a bit of skiing. Yeah, we don’t know why they were skiing either but it was cute.
As the year came to a close, Ed began an effort to make it to Christmas No.1 with ‘Perfect’. Giving the song a reboot just in time for Christmas, Ed released two different collaborations with Beyonce and then Andrea Bocelli.
We all know Ed Sheeran is a big fan of collaborations but it seems like 2017 has been THE year for Ed collabs. In addition to his iconic Beyonce and Andrea Bocelli ‘Perfect’ reboots, Ed has released ‘End Game’ with Taylor Swift & Future, ‘River’ with Eminem, ‘Boa Me’ with Fuse ODG & Mugeez, AND recently covered ‘Fairytale of New York’ with Anne-Marie.
We’re officially feeling festive.
The month of December also saw Ed do a Snapchat filter with CelebMix, which was clearly the highlight of his year. Ours too.
To top it all off, it was announced yesterday that Ed has achieved his first ever Christmas No.1 with ‘Perfect’, which he described as ‘an actual dream come true’. We’re so proud.
— Ed Sheeran Updates (Fanpage) (@EdSheeran_EU) December 22, 2017
2017 will henceforth be known as The Year of Ed Sheeran. What was your highlight of Ed’s year? Is it even possible to choose? Let us know with a tweet over at @CelebMix.