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Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ Is the First Song to Reach 3 Billion Streams on Spotify

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Ed Sheeran is closing out 2021 with a major achievement under his belt. On Wednesday (Dec. 22), the singer posted a video to his Instagram announcing that his 2017 hit “Shape of You” has become the first song in Spotify’s history to reach 3 billion streams.

“I’ve just heard ‘Shape of You’ has reached 3 billion streams on Spotify, which is absolutely insane. I remember this song hitting a billion and thinking that that was weird,” Sheeran said. “The first song to hit 3 billion streams and I’m really, really chuffed with it. Thank you, Spotify, for your support over the years. We’ve had a great 10 years together and hopefully, we have a great 10 years more.”

The 30-year-old also took a brief moment to share some backstory on how the track became a single in the first place, revealing that he went back and forth with Ben Cook — former president of Atlantic Records UK who signed Sheeran — about making “Shape of You” the first single from his 2017 album, ÷ (Divide).

“The song wasn’t meant to make the album … the album wasn’t done, and when I finished the song, Ben Cook from my record label was basically saying, ‘You  have to put this on the album, it has to be a single.’ I said to him, ‘I want ‘Castle on the Hill’ to be the first single, that’s going to be bigger,'” Sheeran explained. “We agreed to disagree and put both songs out at once, and I have to say that Ben, I was wrong and you were very much right.”

“Shape of You” would go on to spend a total of 59 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; the tracked stayed at the No. 1 spot for 12 weeks. (“Castle on the Hill,” in comparison, peaked at No. 6 on the chart and enjoyed 33 weeks on the Hot 100.) The success of “Shape of You” — alongside “Castle on the Hill” and “Perfect” — helped ÷ become Sheeran’s second longest charting album to date, spending a total of 250 weeks on the Billboard 200.