Ed Sheeran’s new sound on comeback single Bad Habits (Asylum / Atlantic) has paid off.
In addition to debuting at No. 1 on the singles charts with 92,086 sales (Official Charts Company), Bad Habits broke the opening week record on Radiomonitor’s radio broadcast charts.
“After taking a well-deserved break, Ed is coming back strong,” said Atlantic co-chair Ed Howard. “Bad Habits is another sonically daring step forward and it’s amazing how positively the fans responded to it. Her performance on TikTok pushed the creative envelope for live broadcasts while becoming the greatest musical performance ever to be made on the platform.
“As always, our radio and DSP partners have been very supportive, the addition of the track to playlists at all levels and the news from our teams around the world is equally positive. Reaching # 1 in your home market is always a special time, and that doesn’t change, even when you’re as successful as Ed!
Bad Habits debuted at the top of the broadcast charts with 97.91 million hits from its 5,129 radio plays. That’s well ahead of Daft Punk’s previous week’s record for Lucky (59.93m).
Damian Christian, Managing Director and Chairman of Promotions at Atlantic Records UK, said Music week it was a special feeling for Sheeran to get such a solid result in week one on his new single.
“It’s probably the most satisfying that I can remember,” he said. “This is his ninth No. 1 airplay, and he already held the record anyway by a stretch. He made a record that was slightly different – there’s a dance vibe to it – and so to go straight to # 1 on the airwaves and have the most [opening] week ever in broadcast history since they recorded it, with nearly 100 million hits, is just off the chart. We’re absolutely buzzing, we’re thrilled, and so is he.
Ed is making a comeback – Bad Habits is another sonically bold step forward
Christian admitted that an artist of Sheeran’s stature faces challenges with a big comeback.
“It can get a little difficult because, for me, he’s the biggest star in the world, or is up there, and then when you reach that top, people want to knock you out and they want to see you fall,” he said. he declared. “It’s kind of what people do, isn’t it?” “
As the track marks a start for Sheeran, Christian said there has been a positive reaction from radio executives.
“We’ve been to a lot of stations, Ed has been involved in part of this process,” Christian said. “The guys from the radio all came on board, it’s on all the A and S lists, they adopted it. It was kind of like, ‘Oh, it’s a little different – but a lot different’.
Christian praised Sheeran’s work ethic around this promotional campaign, which included a blitz of radio stations, including specialty networks such as 1Xtra and Kiss Fresh.
“He just wants [speak to] everyone who plays his records – and he loves it, ”Christiam said. “We entered Radio 1, we did everything Global, we did everything Bauer. He spent days doing this. [Usually] if you get a superstar, they might give you 20 minutes, half an hour. He’s just a joy, really.
” We worked [with Ed Sheeran] for 10 years he was that reddish white rapper from Suffolk as we described – there weren’t many then, or probably now! He’s a humble boy, I think people want to see him win because he’s a good guy.
“The balance sheet is very solid and the figures speak for themselves. It’s a great first week for Ed. A lot of great bands have come back and haven’t had this result, so it’s a real marker for the album and a lot of other big records to come.
Sheeran’s fifth studio album is slated for release in 2021. It follows the huge success of his previous records, including Divide in 2017 (3,713,899 sales).
“The album will be released later this year,” Christian said. “This song doesn’t define Ed’s entire record, they don’t all go this route. We have absolute monsters coming up, we can’t wait to tackle those too. “
Christian has suggested Bad Habits is a perfect song for the summer, as the country emerges from Covid restrictions.
“Because of where we’re at right now, with locking tracks still going on, coming up with a fast-paced and uplifting record was super important. Ironically, the [lyrics] talk about bad habits but nobody really goes out until two in the morning because nobody has been allowed out, right? But you can certainly have bad habits around the house, I’m sure.
Bad Habits a real marker for the album and many other big records to come
The track will be reinforced by a remix, and Christian is convinced that Bad Habits will be one of the songs of the summer.
“I think so, because the numbers are so big – it’s done 92,000 [in week one],” he said Music week. “When people go out, they can relate to that. For people with bad habits, or who had bad habits, they will also be able to identify with this! “Conversations with a stranger I barely know”, as it says, not that I would ever do such a thing … “
TV promotion for the single included The One Show by BBC One, Lorraine on ITV and Crouchy’s Year Late Euros: Live by BBC One. Sheeran was also seen by 20 million viewers attending the England-Germany match at Wembley Stadium, where he was seated alongside David Beckham.
“He has this love for football and he is friends with a lot of footballers,” said Damian Christian. “He and Harry Kane get along very well, he is very good friends with Frank Lampard. Being invited by Harry to go and play barbecue for the English players [at St George’s Park ahead of the Germany clash], he really loved it. They loved it, so I think they call it their good luck [charm].
“He goes to the games, when he zooms in on him and David Beckham, it’s a good look encouraging his country. There is an excitement in the country at the moment. Maybe there will be a battle with 3 Lions next week for No.1, but he wouldn’t mind losing that one for a week!