|Sheeran at Academy 1,|
Manchester Dot to Dot Festival,
On 26 April 2011, Sheeran appeared on the TV music show, Later... with Jools Holland, where he performed his debut single, "The A Team". Six weeks later, "The A Team" was released as a digital download in the UK. The release served as the lead single from Sheeran's debut studio album, + (read as "plus"). "The A Team" entered the UK Singles Chart at number three, selling over 58,000 copies in the first week. It was the best selling debut single and the overall eighth-best selling single of 2011, selling 801,000 copies. The lead single also became a top ten hit in Australia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway and the Netherlands. During a headline set in the BBC Introducing tent at Glastonbury Festival 2011, Sheeran announced that "You Need Me, I Don't Need You" would be released on 26 August as the second single from the album. The second single peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart. "Lego House" was released as the third single, reaching the top ten on Australian, Irish, Scottish, New Zealand Singles Charts, Flemish Ultratop 50 and the Wallonian Ultratip. "Drunk", released on 19 February 2012, became Sheeran's fourth consecutive top ten single in the UK, peaking at number nine.
Sheeran released + on 12 September 2011. The album received generally favourable reviews from music critics. + debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart for sales of 102,000 copies. By end of 2011, sales of the album in the UK stand at 791,000; it became the second best-selling debut album and the ninth biggest-selling album there.The album has been certified platinum six times by the British Phonographic Industry, denoting shipments of 1,800,000 copies. As of March 2012, the album had sold 1,021,072 copies in the UK. The album also reached the top five in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the US.
|Sheeran at the Frequency Festival in Austria, August 2012|
The song, "Moments", on the debut album by boy band One Direction, released in November 2011, was co-written by Sheeran. On 21 February, at the 2012 Brit Awards, Sheeran won the Brit Awards for Best British Male Solo Artist, and British Breakthrough Act of the Year. On 10 January 2012, it was announced that Sheeran would support Snow Patrol on their United States tour from late March until May on the band's Fallen Empires Tour. His song, "Give Me Love", was featured in the episode "Dangerous Liaisons" of The Vampire Diaries. It was also featured in the 12 February 2013 episode of the sitcom Cougar Town (TBS). At the Ivor Novello Awards in May 2012, Sheeran's "The A Team" bested Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and Florence and the Machine's "Shake It Out" for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. Sheeran performed "The A Team" at the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II concert held on The Mall outside Buckingham Palace on 4 June 2012 and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics on 12 August 2012.
|Sheeran on stage in Sydney, |
Australia, February 2013
From March to September 2013, Sheeran played at arenas and stadiums across North America as the opening act for Swift's The Red Tour. According to Sheeran, it was then his biggest tour and he added a scarlet RED tattoo to commemorate it. In October 2013, Sheeran headlined three sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden, which has a capacity of 18,200. At the concert, Sheeran debuted new songs including "Tenerife Sea", a future track on his second studio album. Sheeran released "I See Fire" on 5 November 2013. The song is featured in the end credits of the film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the film's soundtrack, and on the deluxe version of his second album. Sheeran was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2014 Grammy Awards.