“Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran
The narrative of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” begins with the singer hanging out with his friends at a bar. However, he is not there simply to get drunk and have a good time with his buddies. Rather his attendance is also due to him being under the impression that a bar is a preferable place “to find a lover” as opposed to a club. Or stated differently, he is looking for love. And sure enough, a romantic interest walks over and sparks a conversation with him.
This meeting results in the singer and this lady apparently dancing at the bar in an intimate fashion, which ultimately leads to them spending the night together. And in the second verse it is revealed that this interaction leads to a lasting relationship, as in the two of them becoming an actual couple. And throughout Ed is celebrating just how fascinated he is with this woman. More specifically, what he is reveling in is the ‘shape of her’. That is to say that all compliments considered, what clearly attracts him to her the most is her physical attributes. Indeed Sheeran goes as far as to state forthrightly that he is “in love with (the) body” of the addressee.
So in the background there is definitely a type of general falling-in-love narrative going on. But at the forefront is the singer’s amorous affection for the addressee.
A Monster Hit
“Shape of You” was perhaps the biggest global music hit of 2017. For instance, in Ed Sheeran’s native UK, it was the top-selling song of that year. Moreover on an internationally scale, it was the best-selling song digitally. Indeed this track topped music charts in 40 different countries. This includes the UK Singles Chart and the Billboard Hot 100. It also achieved the same feat on the Canadian Hot 100 and many others. And overall it charted in about 50 nations.
Moreover it amazingly achieved multi-Platinum status in almost 20 nations. Furthermore it has even been certified Diamond in the United States and a few other nations.
Indeed “Shape of You” set a record on Spotify by being the first song ever to earn 2,000,000,000 streams. And it was also the most-streamed song on the platform for the entire second decade of the 21st century, having amassed 2,400,000,000 plays throughout the 2010s.
Additionally it tied the Canadian Hot 100’s all-time record at 16-consecutive weeks on top of that listing.
Moreover “Shape of You” also set a record on the Hot 100 by remaining in the top 10 for 33-consecutive weeks. Moreover in the midst of celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Hot 100 in 2018, Billboard placed this track at number 9 on its “hottest-of-the-hot list”, which ranked 600 songs overall. Moreover in the US, the track went on to win a 2018 Grammy Award in the category of Best Pop Solo Performance.
Moreover the music video to this track, which was directed by Jason Koenig, has done historically well itself. For instance as of September, 2020 it is third on list of the most-watched videos in YouTube history, with nearly 5 billion views.
Sheeran was displayed as a boxer in the video, and his co-star / love interest was played by Jennie Pegouskie. Jennie is an actress/dancer of African-American and Thai descent.
When did Ed Sheeran release “Shape of You”?
The song is from Ed Sheeran’s third album, which is entitled “Divide”. Atlantic Records and Asylum Records released the track on the 6th of January 2017. Concurrently they issued another song from the project, “Castle on the Hill“. And while “Shape of You” debuted on top of the UK Singles Chart, “Castle of the Hill” also debuted at the number two position. This marked the first time in history that a musician had two songs debut in the top positions of the aforementioned singles chart.
A day prior to the released of Shape of You, Sheeran teased its forthcoming on Twitter. And upon its release, he promoted the song via Snapchat by using an innovative filter which allowed users to preview the track.
There have been many remixes of “Shape of You”. But two in which Ed Sheeran was personally involved in respectively featured Major Lazer and fellow UK artist Stormzy.
Did Ed Sheeran write “Shape of You”?
There are seven writers credited with the creation of “Shape of You”. The original writers, so to speak, are Johnny McDaid, Ed Sheeran and Steve Mac, with the latter two also producing the track.
In March of 2017 the following four additional individuals were also added as co-writers of the song:
- Tameka “Tiny” Harris
- Kandi Burruss
- Kevin “She’kspere” Briggs
- Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
Fans of 1990s’ R&B music may notice those names as being associated with the group TLC. Indeed the addition of these writers was due to the fact that that “Shape of You” interpolates TLC’s 1999 hit “No Scrubs“.
Initially Sheeran conceptualized this song to be sung by girl bad Little Mix and later Rihanna. However, as it progressed lyrically he realized it would not be fitting for a singer from the Caribbean like Riri since the lyrics reference Van Morrison (i.e. “Van the man”), who is an Irish singer. And ultimately Sheeran’s label boss convinced him to use the track himself.
“Shape of You” banned in Indonesia
Although the lyrics of this song may be relatively-mild by Western standards, one province in the Asian country of Indonesia labeled “Shape of You” offensive (along with a bunch of other tracks). By virtue of this, it was banned from being played during daylight hours.