What Do I Know?

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"What Do I Know?"
Song by Ed Sheeran
from the album ÷
Released 3 March 2017 (2017-03-03)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2016
Genre
Length 3:57
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Johnny McDaid

"What Do I Know?" is a song by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. It was included on his third studio album ÷ (2017).[1] After the album's release it charted at number 9 on the UK Singles Chart.[2]

Sheeran performed the song live with the cast of People Just Do Nothing on the telethon for Comic Relief 2017.[3]

Background[edit]

The song is the tenth track on Ed Sheeran's third studio album ÷, which was released in March 2017, three years on from his previous release X.

In an interview with People magazine, Sheeran said that the song was "basically written on the spot" in a meeting with one of his record label executives. He said 'That was a weird song because that song was written trying to peacock in front of my label head. He'd come down to my house for the day, and I'd started writing that song, and in my head I was like "I want to show him how fast I can write a song". So that song came from just trying to write a song really quickly, to show him that I could write a song'.[4]

In an interview with Zane Lowe, Sheeran said that the song is a "knee-jerk reaction" to things that had happened in 2016: "I'm not a hugely outwardly political person, and I don't want to be. I'm a singer, and I know if like I had a political opinion, people would be like, 'Shut up mate! Sing your song.' ... My whole mantra in life is always like 'love is everything'. I love love, I love when people are happy. So my whole point of this song is basically not to say 'f_k everyone, everything is going to s_t' It's just like love can change everything, love can change the world in the moment, but I don't know anything, what do I know, don't quote me. Basically being able to say anything "political" I want to say, but then being like [shrug]."[5]

Sheeran also said that he intended to end concerts on the North American leg of his ÷ Tour with "What Do I Know?", saying 'I really want to close shows with that one because I feel like walking away from a gig having "love can change the world" in your head is a good thing'.[4]

Comic Relief version[edit]

Sheeran recorded a version of the song for Comic Relief 2017 with Kurupt FM from the BBC TV series People Just Do Nothing. He also performed the song live on the telethon after his appeal video was shown.[3]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[26] Platinum 80,000^
Italy (FIMI)[27] Gold 25,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[28] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[29] Gold 500,000double-dagger

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ O'Connor, Roisin (3 March 2017). "Ed Sheeran, Divide, album review: Singer-songwriter's third record is impressive for ambition alone". The Independent. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Divide and conquer: Ed Sheeran smashes UK chart records with new album and dominates singles rankings". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Ed Sheeran and People Just Do Nothing team up for "epic" Comic Relief charity single". Radio Times. 12 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Nelson, Jeff (21 March 2017). "Ed Sheeran — Who Once Wrote a Track on the Spot for His Label Exec — Will Be Honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame". People. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  5. ^ Zane Lowe (3 February 2017). Zane Lowe and Ed Sheeran, Pt 2. iTunes. Event occurs at 40:50–42:20. 
  6. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Ed Sheeran – What Do I Know?". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Ed Sheeran – What Do I Know?" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Ed Sheeran Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  9. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201710 into search. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Track Top-40 Uge 10, 2017". Hitlisten. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  11. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles - SNEP (Week 10, 2017)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  12. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Ed Sheeran – What Do I Know?". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Stream Top 40 slágerlista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  14. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – What Do I Know?". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Classifica settimanale WK 10" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Ed Sheeran – What Do I Know?" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Ed Sheeran – What Do I Know?". VG-lista. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  18. ^ "Charts.nz – Ed Sheeran – What Do I Know?". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  19. ^ "Week of November 13, 2017". Billboard Philippines. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017. 
  20. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  21. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201710 into search. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  22. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Ed Sheeran – What Do I Know?". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  23. ^ "Ed Sheeran: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  24. ^ "Ed Sheeran Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  25. ^ "End of Year Singles Chart Top 100 – 2017". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  26. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Ed Sheeran – What Do I Know?". Music Canada. Retrieved 28 March 2018. 
  27. ^ "Italian single certifications – Ed Sheeran – What Do I Know?" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  28. ^ "British single certifications – Ed Sheeran – What Do I Know?". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 6 April 2018.  Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Enter What Do I Know? in the search field and then press Enter.
  29. ^ "American single certifications – Ed Sheeran – What Do I Know". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 17 September 2018.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.