|Last updated 3/16/2021.|
Ed Sheeran with Beyoncé
Writer(s): Ed Sheeran (see lyrics here)
Released: September 26, 2017
First Charted: March 25, 2017
Peak: 16 US, 12 RR, 122 AC, 19 A40, 16 UK, 16 CN, 18 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 2.4 UK, 13.5 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 3065.1 video, 1392.0 streaming
Awards: (Click on award for more details).
About the Song:
“Perfect” first hit the charts in March 2017 when his third studio album, Divide (÷) was released. All sixteen of the album’s tracks debuted in the top 20 in the UK and Sheeran occupied nine of the top 10 slots that week, with “Perfect” coming in at #4. WK In the U.S., ten of the album’s songs debuted on the charts with “Perfect” launching at #37. WK Six months later it was officially released as a single and in December an acoustic duet version with Beyoncé was released. The latter pushed the song to #1 on the pop charts in the U.S. The song also topped the charts in the UK and nineteen other countries. WK
The song became Sheeran’s third to spend more than a year on the Billboard Hot 100, following “Shape of You” and “Thinking Out Loud.” He was the first solo artist to do so with three separate singles. SF
“Perfect” was the first Sheeran wrote for his third album, was a romantic ballad about his girlfriend Cherry Seaborn. He initially met her in school and then then reconnected when she was working in New York. He said the lyrical inspiration came from a visit to fellow singer James Blunt’s house in Ibiza, where they listened to the music of rapper Future, WK specifically “March Madness.” SF After he wrote it, he sent it to Cherry in New York, but didn’t get to see her reaction to the song. SF He told Zane Lowe in an interview that he wanted to outdo previous ballad “Thinking Out Loud” because “I know that song was going to define me.” WK
As a final wish of his grandmother, Sheeran collaborated with his brother Matthew, who provided string orchestration on the song. WK The full orchestration was used in a third version of the song, known as “Perfect Symphony,” which featured Andrea Bocelli. Parts of the instrumentation were used in the original version. WK
The video was directed by Jason Koenig, who also helmed Sheeran’s chart-topping “Shape of You.” It was filmed at an Austrian ski resort and depicted Sheeran and actress Zoey Deutch on a ski trip, dancing in the snow, and ending up in a cabin together. MTV UK’s Ross McNeilage called the video a “Christmas dream.” WK It wasn’t actually a Christmas song or video, but the snow gave it a wintery theme.
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