Singer Ed Sheeran.
Singer Ed Sheeran. Joel Ryan/AP

Ed Sheeran breaks Australian music chart record

ED Sheeran has beaten ABBA to become the longest-running No.1 in Australian chart history.

Sheeran's Shape of You has now spent 15 weeks at No.1, the most weeks on top since the weekly charts began in 1949.

The record was previously held by ABBA, whose Fernando clocked up 14 weeks on top in 1976.

Sheeran suffered a hitch when he was briefly dethroned by Harry Styles for one week but returned to No.1 a fortnight ago.

The British singer also beat long-running No.1s by the Beatles (Hey Jude was No.1 for 13 weeks in 1968), Coolio (Gangsta's Paradise was No.1 for 13 weeks in 1995) and Eminem (Lose Yourself spent 12 weeks at No.1 in 2002).

However, Sheeran's success on the singles chart has come at a time when the methods used to calculate sales are very different to the ABBA era.

The ARIA singles charts are compiled using a mix of paid downloads on iTunes as well as streaming figures from Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and other services.

Some subscription services are available for free, leading some to argue it's difficult to compare the pure sales of ABBA from the vinyl era with the way music is now consumed.

Sheeran's domination in the technological age is impressive.

His closest competition on the singles chart is himself - his next single Galway Girl is at No.2 on the ARIA singles chart.

His album Divide has been No.1 for eight straight weeks and has already sold over 200,000 copies and kept Tina Arena, Kendrick Lamar and now Amy Shark from reaching the top spot.

The ARIA album charts have yet to count streaming technology towards sales.

News Corp Australia

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