Charts analysis: Ed Sheeran's scores sixth week at singles summit
by Alan Jones
Parent album ÷ is no longer No.1 – but Perfect, the fourth single from the set, spends its sixth straight week atop the singles chart for Ed Sheeran.
Eclipsing Camila Cabello's five-week topper, Havana, Perfect becomes the longest reigning No.1 since Despacito spent six weeks at No.1 for Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber last May/June.
Including sales and streams of Sheeran's original album version and duet versions with Beyonce and Andrea Bocelli, Perfect had a combined tally of 49,550 sales (including 34,319 from sales-equivalent streams) in the week, the smallest of its reign. Sales of Sheeran's River collaboration with Eminem are falling at a slower rate, and the track spends its third week at No.2 in total and its second in a row, on sales of 41,440 copies.
The highest new entry to the Top 75 this week is Finesse, which debuts at No.7 (24,443 sales) to become the 11th Top 10 hit thus far for Bruno Mars and the first for Cardi B. The original version of Finesse is on Mars' third album, 24K Magic, and has sold a little over 50,000 copies since the album's release in 2016, without previously making the Top 75. Cardi B's addition to the track is driving its success, though sales and streams of Mars' original are counted alongside the new version. Cardi B, of course, had two new entries and a re-entry to the Top 75 last week, and two of them make gains again, with Bartier Cardi (feat. 21 Savage) advancing 54-40 (9,039 sales) and No Limit – a G-Eazy track featuring A$AP Rocky & Cardi B – climbing 51-45 (7,652 sales). Motor Sport – a No.49 single last November that credits Migos, Nicki Minaj & Cardi B – holds at No.59 (5,858 sales).
No.4 on paid-for sales in the latest frame but only No.28 on streaming, I Know You jumps 15-10 (21,102 sales) for Craig David feat. Bastille, becoming the former's 14th Top 10 hit, the latter's third.
Elsewhere in the Top 10 there are new peaks for Barking (8-4, 28,777 sales) by Ramz, I Miss You (6-5, 27,383 sales) by Clean Bandit feat. Julia Michaels and Let You Down (10-6, 24,605 sales) by NF.
Completing the Top 10, Rita Ora's Anywhere advances 4-3 (28,927 sales), MK's 17 slips 7-8 (24,356 sales) and Big Shaq's Man's Not Hot falls 3-9 (23,052 sales). After returning to the Top 10 last week, Camila Cabello's Havana (feat, Young Thug) and Selena Gomez & MarshMello's Wolves leave again, descending 5-13 (18,798 sales) and 9-17 (17,205 sales), respectively.
Eleven months after Zayn & Taylor Swift's I Don't Wanna Live Forever – from the soundtrack of Fifty Shades Darker – peaked at No.5, Zayn's former One Direction bandmate Liam Payne and Rita Ora debut at No.11 (20,930 sales) with For You, the introductory single from the third and last film in the Fifty Shades trilogy, Fifty Shades Freed. It is No.2 on paid-for sales and No.50 on streaming.
Filthy is the introductory single from Justin Timberlake's upcoming fifth solo album, Man Of The Woods, and debuts at No.15 (17,707 sales). It is the 36-year-old singer/songwriter's first hit since 2016 smash Can't Stop The Feeling!, which reached No.2 and is by far the biggest-selling of his 38 Top 75 entries (including 10 from his earlier career as a member of 'N Sync) with a to-date tally of 1,639,030 sales.
Also new to the chart are All The Stars (No.33, 10,196 sales), a collaboration between Kendrick Lamar and SZA that serves as the first single from the soundtrack to the upcoming superhero film Black Panther; Leave A Light On (89-52, 7,102 sales, the introductory hit for Scottish-born Manchester-raised singer/songwriter Tom Walker; Jumanji (No.64, 4,893 sales), the introductory hit for London rapper B Young; and The Weekend (95-73, 4,247 sales) by SZA, who thus scores her second and third hits simultaneously.
Jumping 24-14 (18,324 sales) on its sixth chart appearance, Breathe becomes the fourth Top 20 hit thus far for Londoner Jax Jones, and the first for Norwegian singer Ina Wrodlsen.
While The Greatest Showman leaps to the top of the album chart, three songs from the soundtrack album make handsome gains on the singles chart. They are: This Is Me (28-16, 17,685 sales) by Keala Settle & The Showman Ensemble, The Greatest Show (40-23, 14,338 sales) by Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Zac Efron & Zendaya and Rewrite The Stars (46-26, 12,441 sales) by Zac Efron & Zendaya. Because of the primary artist rule, eight more songs from the album are 'starred out' of the Top 75, three of them in the Top 40. It is particularly tough on Loren Allred, who isn't even in the film, and would be in the Top 40 with Never Enough were it to be on her own album rather than on The Greatest Showman.
Also reaching new peaks within the Top 75 are: Tip Toe (19-12, 19,462 sales) by Jason Derulo feat. French Montana, My Lover (23-18, 16,215 sales) by Not3s, Bouff Daddy (29-27, 11,995 sales) by J Hus, Never Be The Same (37-29, 11,814 sales) by Camila Cabello, Bad (44-37, 9,528 sales) by Steel Banglez, Yungen, MoStack, Mr. Eazi & Not3s, IDGAF (55-38, 9,240 sales) by Dua Lipa and Let Me Go (50-42, 8,091 sales) by Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso feat. Florida Georgia Line & Watt,
Overall singles sales are up 5.16% week-on-week to 14,995,633, 34.03% above same week 2017 sales of 11,188,142. Streams accounted for 13,937,749 sales, a record 92.95% of the total. Paid-for sales are down 7.71% week -on-week at 1,057,884, and are 38.91% below same week 2017 sales of 1,731,822. They are below same-week, previous-year sales for the 232nd week in a row.
© Music Week