Sing (Ed Sheeran song)

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"Sing"
Single by Ed Sheeran
from the album x
B-side "Friends"
Released 7 April 2014 (2014-04-07)
Format
Recorded 2013
Genre
Length 3:55
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Pharrell Williams
Ed Sheeran singles chronology
"I See Fire"
(2013)
"Sing"
(2014)
"Don't"
(2014)
Music sample

"Sing" is a song by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. It was written by Sheeran and Pharrell Williams, who also produced it and provides uncredited background vocals. The song was released as a digital download on 7 April 2014, serving as the lead single from Sheeran's second studio album, x (2014).[1][2][3]

Background[edit]

Three years after the release of his debut album, +, Sheeran announced that he hoped he would release his second album during 2014. The song was written by Sheeran and Pharrell Williams, produced by the latter, and has a length of 3 minutes and 55 seconds. The song, which has pop and R&B influences and was inspired by singer Justin Timberlake, is a considered a departure from Sheeran's folk rock sound he became known for on his album +.[4][5] Sheeran was inspired to model the song after the pop and R&B stylings of Timberlake, stating "It was pretty close to a direct inspiration. I love Justified and FutureSex/LoveSounds, so I took inspiration from those."[6] The lyrics are about "a night out in Vegas."[7]

"Sing" was released in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and Germany in May 2014 with a corresponding EP.[citation needed] Aside from these nations, "Sing" was released internationally on 7 April 2014, during a YouTube live chat with Sheeran. "Friends", a track from the EP, entered the UK Singles Chart at number 121.

Critical reception[edit]

The song received critical acclaim upon release, with music critics complimenting Sheeran's change of sound, and likening the song to the works of Justin Timberlake. Time gave the song a very positive review, saying that it is "more of a departure. It fits the times nicely: there's some of fellow Brit Sam Smith in Sheeran's rubbery falsetto, plus some of Robin Thicke's ubiquitous 'Blurred Lines' in the percussion. But Sheeran's really got his heavy-breathing, hyper-flirtatious sights on another, older target: Justin Timberlake's solo debut 'Like I Love You'," adding that "Countless artists have died on that hill, from former boy banders trying to reinvent themselves in Timberlake's image, to teen idols in protracted growth spurts, to Timberlake himself on parts of The 20/20 Experience. But Sheeran brings legit musicianship, not just branding, to the tune, and his vocal tics and the 'Billie Jean' percussion suggest he might be looking back even further, to Michael Jackson's imperial phase."[1]

In a positive review, The Guardian said that "while Pharrell's influence is writ large, there's enough of Sheeran there to prevent it coming across as horrible pastiche."[3] The Hollywood Reporter also gave the song a positive review, stating that "Sheeran's fragile voice, as heard on past hits like 'The A Team' and 'Lego House,' has now morphed into a confident croon, unafraid of diving into a deep bag of melismas, boisterous chants and rapid-fire rhymes in order to convince his female subject of his desires."[8]

Chart performance[edit]

"Sing" debuted at number one on the Australian ARIA Charts in May 2014, making it Sheeran's first ever number one in the country, and his sixth top ten single in Australia.

On the week of 14 April 2014, the song entered the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 8, becoming his fourth top 10 single and second top 10 debut in New Zealand.[9] The song has since topped the charts in that country, giving Sheeran his second consecutive number-one single there.[10]

The song debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart, giving him his first ever number one singles in both United Kingdom and Ireland.

In Canada, the track has since peaked at number 4, giving Ed Sheeran his first ever top 10 hits in the country.

"Sing" debuted at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Sheeran his highest charting single in the United States. The single managed to sell 123,000 copies, giving him his second best sales week digitally; the song also managed to net 563,000 streams and earn 28 million in audience impressions, all before its debut week on the Billboard Hot 100.[11] "Sing" has since peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song reached its million sales mark in the US in July 2014.[12]

In Italy, "Sing" has peaked at number two and spent five total weeks at this position, giving him the higher peak position reached in this country so far.[13]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Sing" was released exclusively to Sheeran's Facebook page on 22 May 2014, and added to Vevo and YouTube on 23 May, exactly a month before the album was released.[14] It follows a puppet caricature of Sheeran on a night out, during which he gets drunk, sings karaoke, goes to a strip club and picks up Sheeran and Pharrell from a studio in his truck.[15][16]

The puppet is currently in Sheeran's safekeeping,[17] but he has "no idea how to work it yet".[18] The puppet was closely modelled on him, down to his clothes and tattoos.[17] Sheeran and Pharrell received the award for Best Male Video at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards for the video.

Live performances and cover versions[edit]

Sheeran performed the song live for the first time on Saturday Night Live on 12 April 2014, along with a song called "Don't", which he debuted off the album.[19] Sheeran also performed "Sing" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on 16 May 2014,[20] on the Britain's Got Talent semi-final on 27 May 2014[citation needed] and on The Graham Norton Show on 6 June 2014.[21] On August 28, 2014, Sheeran sang the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[22]

On 7 August 2014, English band Rizzle Kicks did a mashup of the song with Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge.[23] The song will be covered by Darren Criss on the episode premiere of the sixth season of Glee.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download – Single[24]
No. Title Length
1. "Sing"   3:55
CD single[25]
No. Title Length
1. "Sing"   3:55
2. "Sing" (Live @ 1LIVE Radiokonzert) 6:49
Digital download – Extended play[26]
No. Title Length
1. "Sing" (Live @ 1LIVE Radiokonzert) 6:49
2. "Sing" (Trippy Turtle Remix) 4:06
3. "Friends"   3:10

Charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[27] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[28] 11
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[29] 29
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[30] 26
Brazil (Billboard Brasil Hot 100)[31] 42
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[32] 4
Canada AC (Billboard)[33] 15
Canada CHR/Top 40 (Billboard)[34] 4
Canada Hot AC (Billboard)[35] 1
Chile (Top 20 Chart)[36] 9
Croatia (Croatian Airplay Radio Chart)[37] 2
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[38] 28
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[39] 9
Denmark (Tracklisten)[40] 15
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[41] 17
France (SNEP)[42] 5
Germany (Media Control Charts)[43] 7
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[44] 3
Hungary (Single Top 20)[45] 9
Ireland (IRMA)[46] 1
Israel (Media Forest)[47] 1
Italy (FIMI)[48] 2
Luxembourg Digital Songs (Billboard)[49] 8
Mexico (Monitor Latino)[citation needed] 38
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[50] 7
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[51] 12
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[52] 1
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 20)[53] 18
Poland (Dance Top 50)[54] 44
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[55] 1
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[56] 21
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[57] 6
South Africa (EMA)[58] 53
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[59] 37
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[60] 33
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[61] 7
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[62] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[63] 13
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[64] 14
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[65] 4
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[66] 6
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[67] 25

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[68] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[69] 2× Platinum 160,000^
Italy (FIMI)[70] Platinum 30,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[71] Platinum 15,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[72] Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[73] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format
Australia[74] 7 April 2014 Warner Music Digital download (single)
Germany[75]
Ireland[76]
New Zealand[77]
[25] 23 May 2014 CD
Ireland[26] 30 May 2014 Digital download (EP)
United Kingdom[24] 1 June 2014 Digital download (single)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b St. Asaph, Katherine (7 April 2014). "Ed Sheeran Teams Up With Pharrell for New Single "Sing": Listen". Time. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (7 April 2014). "Ed Sheeran's 'Sing' Arrives: Pharrell-Produced Single Channels Justin Timberlake". Billboard. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Cragg, Michael (8 April 2014). "Ed Sheeran – Sing: New music". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Trust, Gary (11 April 2014). "Ed Sheeran's 'Sing' Headed Toward Top 40 Debut On Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ed Sheeran's Billboard Cover: 5 Things We Learned About Music's Great Red Hope". Billboard. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (9 April 2014). "Ed Sheeran Shares 'x' Track List". Billboard. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Ed Sheeran - 'Sing' Playback & YouTuber Q&A". YouTube. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (7 April 2014). "Ed Sheeran's 'Sing' Arrives: Pharrell-Featuring Single Channels Justin Timberlake (Audio)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  9. ^ NZ Top 40 Singles Chart | The Official New Zealand Music Chart
  10. ^ NZ Top 40 Singles Chart | The Official New Zealand Music Chart
  11. ^ Trust, Gary. "Pharrell Williams Tops Hot 100; Ed Sheeran Blasts In at No. 15". Billboard. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Paul Grein (July 16, 2014). "Chart Watch: 'Rude' Brings Reggae To #1". Yahoo! Music. 
  13. ^ "italiancharts.com - Ed Sheeran - Sing". 
  14. ^ Ed Sheeran Debuts 'Sing' Music Video Exclusively on Facebook
  15. ^ Ed Sheeran & A Lookalike Puppet Party Like Rock Stars In “Sing” Video: Watch | Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on Idolator.com
  16. ^ Ed Sheeran's 'Sing' Music Video: Watch Muppet Ed Live Out a Wild Night | Billboard
  17. ^ a b "This Week's Fresh Music Top 20". 8 June 2014. 4Music.
  18. ^ Ed Sheeran unveils 'Sing' video featuring Pharrell Williams - watch - Music News - Digital Spy
  19. ^ "Ed Sheeran Debuts New 'X' Song on 'SNL' - Video". Rolling Stone. 13 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Ed Sheeran Performs 'Sing' - Ellen Show May 16, 2014, - Video". Ellen Degeneres. 16 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Ed Sheeran - SING". YouTube. 
  22. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK0Wp6xXSQc
  23. ^ "Rizzle Kicks cover Fancy and Sing in the Live Lounge". BBC. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
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  37. ^ "Hrvatska Airplay Radio Chart - 30 lipnja 2014 (30 June 2014)". HRT. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2014.  Archived from "the original".  on 8 July, 2014
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  40. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Ed Sheeran – Sing". Tracklisten. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  41. ^ "Ed Sheeran: Sing" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  42. ^ "Lescharts.com – Ed Sheeran – Sing" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  43. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  44. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  45. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 10 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  46. ^ "Chart Track: Week 20, 2014". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  47. ^ "Ed Sheeran – Sing Media Forest". Israeli Airplay Chart. Media Forest. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  48. ^ "Artisti - Classifica settimanale WK 21 (dal 19-05-2014 al 25-05-2014)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
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  52. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Ed Sheeran – Sing". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  53. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 20. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  54. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Dance Top 50. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  55. ^ "Archive Chart". Scottish Singles Top 40.
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  57. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201428 into search. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  58. ^ "South African Airplay Chart Top 100 - May 16, 2014". Entertainment Monitoring Africa. Archived from the original on 25 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  59. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Ed Sheeran – Sing" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  60. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Ed Sheeran – Sing". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  61. ^ "Ed Sheeran – Sing – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  62. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
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  64. ^ "Ed Sheeran Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Ed Sheeran. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  65. ^ "Ed Sheeran Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Ed Sheeran. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  66. ^ "Ed Sheeran Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Ed Sheeran. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  67. ^ "Ed Sheeran Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for Ed Sheeran. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  68. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  69. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Ed Sheeran – Sing". Music Canada. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  70. ^ "Italian single certifications – Ed Sheeran – Sing" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved 4 July 2014.  Select Online in the field Scegli la sezione. Select Week -- and Year ----. Enter Ed Sheeran in the field Artista. Click Avvia la ricerca
  71. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Ed Sheeran". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  72. ^ "British single certifications – Ed Sheeran – Sing". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 September 2014.  Enter Sing in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  73. ^ "American single certifications – Ed Sheeran – Sing". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 4 July 2014.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  74. ^ "Sing - Single by Ed Sheeran". iTunes (AU). Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  75. ^ "Sing - Single von Ed Sheeran". iTunes (DE). Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  76. ^ "Sing - Single by Ed Sheeran". iTunes (IE). Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  77. ^ "Sing - Single by Ed Sheeran". iTunes (NZ). Retrieved 31 May 2014. 

External links[edit]