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Ed Sheeran scores sixth consecutive number one album

Ed Sheeran has scored a sixth consecutive number one album with his latest release – (Subtract) as it becomes the UK’s fasting selling record of 2023 so far.

The critically-acclaimed album secured 76,000 chart unit sales in its opening week, with the majority being physical sales, according to the Official Charts Company.

The previous record was held by American singer Lana Del Rey’s album Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, which scored 41,000 chart units in total during its first week.

Sheeran said: “To everyone that bought, streamed and listened to Subtract this week, thank you so much for making it number one.

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“This album means the absolute world to me, and I think it’s going to be a very, very important album for me for a very, very long time.

“I’ve loved hearing everyone’s reactions and stories and how people have connected with the songs.

“And um, yeah, I can’t wait to be on tour this summer and for you to see it live and thank you, this is great.”

Subtract follows in the success of Sheeran’s other chart-topping albums + (Plus), x (Multiply), ÷ (Divide), No 6 Collaborations Project and = (Equals) – which featured number one singles Bad Habits and Shivers.

The newest album comes after his UK number one single Eyes Closed, which was released alongside a four-part Disney+ documentary The Sum Of It All, which marks the end of his decade-long mathematics era.

The release of the album pushed its lead track back up the UK singles chart from sixth place to third.

The chart-topping singer, 32, wrote and recorded the 14-track offering after a series of difficult events impacted his life last year, including his wife Cherry Seaborn being diagnosed with a tumour while pregnant and the death of his close friend Jamal Edwards.

During the same time period, Sheeran won a court battle after two songwriters claimed his 2017 hit Shape Of You infringed copyright of their song Oh Why. He later spoke openly about the mental strain the case caused him.

Ed Sheeran’s new album
Ed Sheeran wrote Subtract after a series of difficult events in his life (Annie Leibovitz/PA)

The new album was also released the day after Sheeran won a US copyright lawsuit which alleged he used parts of Marvin Gaye’s hit song Let’s Get It On for his own track Thinking Out Loud.

On Thursday, Sheeran performed a powerful rendition of Life Goes On from his new album at the 2023 Academy of Country Music (ACM) awards, alongside US country star Luke Combs.

Elsewhere in the charts, British rapper Nines’s Crop Circle 2 holds steady for a second week at number two, while Canadian singer The Weeknd climbs two places to take the third spot with The Highlights.

Manchester rapper Tunde’s debut mixtape First Lap secures fourth place ahead of Taylor Swift’s hit record Midnights.

In singles chart, Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding continue their number one streak for a fifth week with Miracle.