Thursday, April 25, 2024

Did Ed Sheeran’s Copyright Trial Hurt His Career? New Album Debuts at Number 2, Outrun on iTunes by Jonas Brothers, Others


You’d have thought that winning his copyright trial would have been a publicity bonanza for Ed Sheeran. On the stand he played his guitar, welled up with tears and carried on, charming the jury. They agreed he did not lift “Thinking Out Loud” from Marvin Gaye’s “Let Get It On.”

Then Ed released a new album, called Minus, or “Subtract.” That was last Friday.

Today sales were counted for this week’s albums, and Minus sold only 111,000 copies. It debuted at number 2 behind Morgan Wallen. On iTunes, the Jonas Brothers are number 1 and Ed is number 2.

Did the trial hurt him? It looks like it might have done some damage. Usually a new Ed Sheeran album with a mathematical symbol debuts at number 1.

Minus did sell 80,000 albums or paid downloads, which is great. Ed is not a big streamer, so far. This album opened at just about the same level as Sheeran’s last one in 2021, His last actual hit album — over 1.5 million copies, was :Divide,” in 2017.

Ed Sheeran is just 32 years old. The record business is crazy now. Wow. Also maybe it’s time to move on from the symbol titles. The next album should not be called “Fractions.”

(And why was he on Live with Kelly and Mark? Not cool, Ed, no cool factor.)

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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