Ed Sheeran may have lost his eight previous bids for Billboard Music Awards but that didn’t stop this English singer/songwriter from performing his latest hit, “Castle on the Hill” on Sunday’s show. It is the second single from his chart-topping new album “÷.”
With Sheeran on the South American leg of a worldwide tour to promote the album, he couldn’t perform in person at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Rather, as Mark Cuban and Sara Foster noted in their introduction, the performance above came from his concert last week in Santiago, Chile. Sheeran, who won’t make it to North America till the late summer, is expected to be on the road until early 2018.
Expect “÷,” which was released to rave reviews to debut in March, to put him back in contention at these awards next year. He is already tipped to be a strong presence at the Grammy Awards for this disc, which is only his third studio album. His debut, “+,” earned him a Best New Artist bid at the 2014 Grammy Awards; he lost to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. His follow-up, “x,” contended for Album of the Year last year but he lost to Taylor Swift (“1989”). And while he was bested for Record of the Year by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson for “Uptown Funk,” he did win both Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance for “Thinking Out Loud.”