Ed Sheeran with James Blunt
Multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning global superstar Ed Sheeran has announced details for his North American arena tour. Dates begins June 29th at Kansas City, Mo’s Sprint Cente, with a stop at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center on August 1. For complete details, please visit www.edsheeran.com/live.htm.
The tour celebrates Sheeran’s landmark third studio album, “÷.” The album – pronounced “divide” – includes the universal hit singles, “Shape of You” and “Castle On The Hill,” both of which made incredible chart entries after their simultaneous January release. “Shape of You” debuted at #1 on Billboard’s “Hot 100” – Sheeran’s first time atop the overall chart – and has remained there for six weeks total thus far. Meanwhile, “Castle On The Hill” entered the “Hot 100” at #6, establishing Sheeran as the first artist to ever have two singles make simultaneous top 10 debuts in the chart’s 58-year history. “Shape of You” was quickly certified 2x-platinum by the RIAA, while “Castle on the Hill” earned gold -- the first two songs released in 2017 to achieve RIAA certifications this year.
Global superstar and multi-GRAMMY winner Ed Sheeran has quickly established himself as one of the world’s biggest musical artists with over 22 million albums sold. The British singer-songwriter kicked off the new year by unveiling two singles – “Shape Of You” and “Castle On The Hill” - from his just released 3rd full length album “÷.” “Shape Of You” debuted at #1 with “Castle On The Hill” following at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Sheeran the first artist ever in the chart’s 58 year history to have two singles simultaneously debut in the Top 10. “Shape Of You” has since held the top spot on the Hot 100 for 5 weeks, and currently sits at #1 at Top 40 radio, Hot AC radio, iTunes “Overall Songs” chart, and both Spotify’s Global and U.S. Top 50 charts. Likewise, Sheeran is the most streamed artist worldwide on Spotify. “Shape Of You” and “Castle On The Hill” were recently certified 2x-Platinum and Gold respectively, becoming the first 2 songs released in 2017 to receive certifications from the RIAA. Sheeran kicked off a high profile television blitz, performing both songs on Saturday Night Live, then travelling cross-country overnight to take the stage at the 59th GRAMMY Awards less than 24 hours later.
“÷” is the follow up to Sheeran’s 2014 album ‘x’ (pronounced multiply). After debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 upon its release, the album has since been certified 4x-Platinum in the US and earned two GRAMMY nominations, including the prestigious “Album Of The Year.” Additionally, “x” spawned four consecutive multi-platinum singles in “Sing,” “Don’t,” “Photograph,” and his global smash and biggest single to date “Thinking Out Loud,” which marked his first #1 at Top 40 radio and won a pair of GRAMMY awards, including highly coveted “Song Of The Year.” One of the planet’s most popular live performers, Ed has played sold out headline shows at some of the biggest venues around the world, including Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, Suncorp Stadium in Sydney, and at London’s Wembley Stadium in front of 240,000 fans over 3 nights. Ed first broke through to the mainstream in 2012 with his debut album “+” (pronounced plus), which was a top 5 debut in the US and spent three weeks at #1 in the UK. The 2x-Platinum “+” features “The A Team”, an international smash which earned Ed his first GRAMMY nomination (“Song Of The Year”) and has been certified 3x-Platinum in the US. Sheeran launched his own imprint, Gingerbread Man Records, in 2015, with the signing of fellow British singer songwriter Jamie Lawson – whose self-titled album debuted at #1 in the UK – and Irish troubadour Foy Vance.
“It feels very much like a fresh start for me. They say, ‘If you don’t change, you die.’ Well, I’m on my fifth album - I couldn’t just do the same thing again. But I don’t know how this is going to play out.” His trepidation is understandable. The Afterlove is James Blunt, just not as we know him.
The familiar soft rock stylings have been replaced by subtle shades of electronica and a dark digital pulse. The album contains drums and bass that, as Blunt brilliantly puts it, “come out of a computer.” There are still acoustic guitars and yearning vocals aplenty only enhanced this time by an intriguing sonic strangeness.
The Afterlove’s key co-writers were Ed Sheeran and Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, who has written some of the biggest hits of the last decade with Beyonce, Adele and Taylor Swift. Other collaborators included Amy Wadge (‘Thinking Out Loud’ - Ed Sheeran), Stephan Moccio (co-writer of ‘Wrecking Ball’ for Miley Cyrus and ‘Earned It’ with The Weeknd), MoZella (who has written with One Direction and Ellie Goulding) and award-winning English songwriter/producer Steve Robson.
Perhaps the most significant contribution to The Afterlove was made by Ed Sheeran, when he visited for a songwriting session in Switzerland. (Blunt lives in Ibiza but also has properties in Verbier and London, although he maintains that “my main home is the tour bus.”)
“I taught Ed Sheeran how to ski and he taught me how to write songs,” Blunt says humbly. “I needed someone like him, who is very forthright, because knowing that people are going to hear it, and I’m a really private person, whereas I used to write very open songs, I’ve become more reclusive in the way I expose myself.”
“But I had Ed to say, ‘Come on, you need to open up a bit.’ So it was great to have him there.”
Like Sheeran, John Lennon was fond of saying, “Writing is easy: you sit down with your guitar and just open a vein.” In keeping with that credo, Blunt’s blood is all over these tracks.
“I’m in a place where I’m not trying to hide anything,” he says of The Afterlove’s nakedly confessional songs. “It’s very open and pretty truthful.”
- Tuesday, August 1, 2017 Tue, August 1, 2017 \TBA