It's official. Ed Sheeran is the most played music artist of 2019.
He beat Calvin Harris to top PPL's Most Played Artist Chart for the fourth time in five years. Coldplay broke that run as 2016's most-heard, although everyone now agrees we were all having a bad day and we listened to them by mistake.
Sheeran scored three UK number one singles last year, respectively with Justin Bieber, Khalid and Stormzy. The most-played tracks of the year are full of collaborations too: Calvin Harris with Rag ‘n’ Bone Man; Mark Ronson with Miley Cyrus; Sam Smith with Normani. It's like no-one can do anything on their own anymore. They're all trying to emulate successful double acts like Ant & Dec and those two girls out of The Shining.
It's interesting to see who Sheeran beat in the Most Played Artist Chart. In third place is Sam Smith playing the spoons while tightrope walking over a crocodile pit. In seventh palace is the sound of Rita Ora having a benny and throwing a television through a hotel window. And in tenth place is the whole of Maroon 5 screaming into a funnel.
I once claimed that Ed Sheeran was here to destroy us all, that every song had become Ed Sheeran. In my defence, it was the week he broke the charts by scoring 16 top 20 hits at once. But even a stopped idiot tells the right time twice a day. Maybe I was pointing towards a future so Sheeraned, we forget how to listen to anything else. We are living in that future.
Extensive surveys tell me that the average Fat Roland reader reads this blog by mumbling the words out loud. This blog is actually all cut-and-pasted from Ed Sheeran lyrics: has been since 2004, seven years before Sheeran had his first hit single. Sorry to break it to you, my muttering friend, but by reading this very page, you're already making the Suffolk superstar the most played artist of 2020.
In two of his singles, Shape Of You (not bad) and Galway Girl (terrible), he makes a reference to putting Van Morrison on a jukebox. People aren't paying attention. They're putting Ed on their jukeboxes, not Van. They're putting Ed on their record players. They're putting Ed on their Spotify. They're putting Ed in those annoying birthday cards that make a tinny noise when you open them.
Ed everywhere. Ed will never end. He is Ed Sheer-on-and-on.