“Sing” is a song by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. It features production and additional vocals from Pharrell Williams. The song was released as a digital download on 7 April 2014, serving as the lead single for his upcoming second studio album, x.
The song was written by Sheeran and Pharrell Williams, produced by the latter, and has a length of 3 minutes and 55 seconds. The song, which has pop and R&B influences and was apparently inspired by singer Justin Timberlake, is a considered a departure from Sheeran’s folk rock sound he became known for on his album +.
Sheeran was inspired to model the song after the pop and R&B stylings of Timberlake, stating “It was pretty close to a direct inspiration. I love Justified and FutureSex/LoveSounds, so I took inspiration from those.” The lyrics are about “a night out in Vegas.”
“Sing” was released in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and Germany in May 2014 with a corresponding EP. Aside from these nations, “Sing” was released internationally on 7 April 2014, during a YouTube live chat with Sheeran.
It follows a puppet caricature of Sheeran on a night out, during which he gets drunk, sings karaoke, goes to a strip club and picks up Sheeran and the song’s producer, Pharrell, from a studio in his truck. Sheeran has stated that he owns the puppet in the video, but has “no idea how to work it yet”.
Sheeran performed the song live for the first time on Saturday Night Live on 12 April 2014, along with a song called “Don’t” he debuted off the album. Sheeran also performed “Sing” on Ellen Show on 16 May 2014, and on the Britain’s Got Talent semi-final on 27 May 2014.
On the week of 14 April 2014, the song entered the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 8, becoming his fourth top 10 single and second top 10 debut in New Zealand.
The single managed to sell 123,000 copies, giving him his second best sales week digitally; the song also managed to net 563,000 streams and earn 28 million in audience impressions, all before its debut week on the Billboard Hot 100. “Sing” has since peaked at number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100.
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