As expected, Ed Sheeran’s third studio album ÷ has dominated the Billboard 200 chart.
The long-awaited project debuted at No. 1 this week, racking in a notable 451,000 equivalent album units, 322,000 of which were in traditional album sales. This marks the biggest week for an album in 2017, and the largest opening week since J. Cole dropped 4 Your Eyez Only in December of 2016.
According to Billboard, ÷ is Sheeran’s second No. 1 project, following his 2014 sophomore album x with 209,000 in traditional album sales. The 26-year-old singer’s debut project + peaked at No. 5 in 2011.
In an interview with Billboard earlier this year, Sheenan talked about his decision to release the album in March of this year rather than in November of last year.
"It feels like a clean start this year not like any time I've come out there's always been another person," he said. "Like remember the first year I came out, being nominated for every award but then Adele was nominated for every award, and I'd kinda turn up like, 'uh yeah.' But this year it kinda feels like there's no one there ... I'm very, very confident in this year. This year is mine!"
Metallica’s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct surged from No. 14 to No. 2 this week with 81,000 equivalent album units; Bruno Mars' 24K Magic stayed at the No. 3 slot with 65,000 units; Future’s self-titled album hit No. 4, while his HNDRXX project fell from the No. 1 position to No. 5; and Migos’ Culture took the No. 6 spot.