Ed Sheeran has gone platinum and it might not be the album you were expecting: His + crossed the million-album sales mark last week, many months after his second album, x, did the same thing.
Last year's release started off hot right out of the gate, debuting at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 and would end up as the year's fourth highest-selling debut and wind up platinum by January. His first album took a bit more work however, peaking at no. 5 on the Billboard charts with a debut of 42,000 copies sold (compared to 210,000 for its follow-up).
A better indicator of Sheeran's continuing rise in popularity is how his albums have fared in his homeland of England. Although both of his albums began at no. 1 on the Official Charts Company's albums charts, the latter dwarfed the former's numbers. His first record has gone triple-platinum thus far—platinum status requires 300,000 in sales for the UK—suggesting similar sales totals to those in the U.S. However, his x would remain at no. 1 on the UK charts for 12 weeks and gather more than 2 million in sales in the process, making it double-platinum by American standards and perhaps as many as seven times by UK standards.
Both albums have shown consistency on the Billboard 200, a fact that has no doubt been boosted by Nielsen's new formula of tracking streams and singles downloads toward its equivalent album totals—Sheeran does well in both categories. Last week + came in at no. 71 on the Billboard 200, more than three years after it was release. X remains strong, sitting at no. 12-It had fallen from no. 6 a week earlier, and will probably return to the Top 10 at some point during a week with few releases.