Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You approaches massive sales and streaming landmark, while Despacito charges up from behind to put the pressure on for the 2017 singles crown, according to the Official Charts Company.
As we enter the final quarter of the year, Shape Of You - one half of Ed's double single release ahead of his third album ÷ back in January – holds its lead as 2017’s biggest single, on the cusp of breaking 3 million combined sales, 2.95m shifted across all formats. The only other tracks that have broken 3 million combined in history are Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? and Elton John’s Candle In The Wind ’97.
Nearly three quarters of that total is powered by streaming (220m plays), while 26% is digital downloads (761k), making Shape Of You the biggest selling song of 2017 so far as well as most streamed, AND the UK’s most streamed song of all time.
Ed features a further three times on the year-to-date Top 40; the second of his ÷ releases, Castle On The Hill, is the third biggest song with 1.7m equivalent units sold, Galway Girl is fourth (1.2m) and his latest single Perfect places at 31 (627k).
Sheeran is by no means home and dry yet however; overtaking Castle On The Hill since the halfway point of the year to rise to Number 2 is Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber’s Despacito (Remix). With 2m equivalent units sold already, split between 583k downloads and 142m streams, the track, which was re-worked for its UK release in April with Justin, was the biggest song of the summer on the Official Chart, logging 11 weeks at Number 1, and now the clearest challenger to Ed for the 2017 singles crown.
US rapper French Montana takes fifth place with his runaway smash Unforgettable ft. Swae Lee (1.11m), while Clean Bandit’s Symphony ft. Zara Larsson, which reached Number 1 in May, is close behind at 6 (1.1m). The trio feature again at Number 19 with their 2016 Christmas Number 1, Rockabye.
British acts dominate the Top 40 singles of 2017 so far, with more than 20 songs by British-born acts, 22 if you include Coldplay’s joint billing on Something Just Like This with The Chainsmokers and Dua Lipa’s co-headline on Scared To Be Lonely with Martin Garrix.
BRITs Critics Choice winner Rag’n’Bone Man scores two entries on the rundown, including his hugely successful breakthrough single Human (7) which nudges past 1m equivalent units this year (a total of 1.3m since its release in December 2016), and follow-up, Skin, at 34.
Meanwhile, London DJ/producer Jax Jones is at 8 with his Number 3-peaking collaboration with Raye, You Don’t Know Me (984k).
Further down, breakthrough stars Maggie Lindemann and Anne-Marie feature with their respective singles Pretty Girl (27) and Ciao Adios (30), and rapper Future sneaks into the Top 40 at 40 with his single Mask Off despite its Number 22 peak on the Official Singles Chart.