Ed Sheeran just can’t stay away from Rockefeller Center. He started last week by performing his No. 1 single “Shape of You” on Monday’s edition of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and ended it by singing that same song off his new album,”÷” in a more serious vein on the same show. And on Wednesday (March 8), he performed it again, this time as part of the “Today” show concert series.
Sheeran showed off his versatility by offering up very different renditions of this tune each time. On “Today,” he then segued into another track from the disc, “Castle on the Hill.” Later on he offered up performances of two more songs from “÷”: “What Do I Know?” and “Supermarket Flowers.”
In between sets, Sheeran announced he was going to spend the next year touring to support the album. “Next year is going to be stadiums, this year is going to be arenas.” He dismissed the notion that playing in bigger venues might lessen the experience for him. “If someone connects with you, it doesn’t matter how far away you are. Get them connected with the song.”
Sheeran also sang “Thinking Out Loud.” That track from his sophomore album, “x,” won him both Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance at last year’s Grammys. He was bested then for Record of the Year by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson for “Uptown Funk” and lost the Album of the Year race to Taylor Swift (“1989”).
Expect “÷,” which was released to rave reviews to debut at No. 1 on the next Billboard Top 200 Album chart. This is only the third studio album from this talented English singer/songwriter and is all but guaranteed to put him back in contention at next year’s Grammy Awards.