British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran nabs his first #1 album with x, as the sophomore effort debuts atop the NielsenSoundScan sales chart with 210,000 copies sold. Billboard reports that this figure gives Sheeran the fourth largest opening sales week in 2014, as well as the best sales week for a male British solo act in almost a decade. x debuted at #1 in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, United Arab Emirates and Sheeran's own UK, where it is the fastest selling album of the year thus far.
Thanks to x, Sheeran also set some new Spotify records, as the new album because the most-streamed released ever in the UK on the digital music service in a single week. It also had the most-streamed first week ever worldwide in Spotify history, besting Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 last year.
Fellow Brit Sam Smith spends a second week at #2 with In The Lonely Hour, which moved another 67,000 copies. Billboard notes that this is the first time two British solo acts were at #1 and #2 on the chart since Eric Clapton and Sting accomplished that feat in March of 1993 (when both Sheeran and Smith were still infants!). Smith also has the #1 digital single in the country with his hit "Stay With Me."
Rapper G-Eazy debuts at #3 with These Things Happen, as last week's #1 album, Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence, is at #4. The unbeatable Frozen soundtrack is at #5. Hard rockers Mastodon debut at #6 with Once More 'Round The Sun, followed by jam band vets Phish at #7 with Fuego. The top ten was rounded out by Miranda Lambert's Platinum, Linkin Park's latest record The Hunting Party and the new NOW 50 collection.