While you were busy listening to Ed Sheeran's album Divide on repeat, you might have missed a subtle change that has taken over the pop star's attitude.
Three years ago, Sheeran released his album X. He didn't follow up with any music until Divide, which dropped Friday. Additionally, Sheeran quit social media for a full year while he traveled the world. For all intents and purposes, Sheeran was off the grid.
Fans didn't see him or hear from him until he decided to come back to music and tease his new album. But when any star has a new project, they know they have to promote it, which means there are plenty of interviews and performances to go around for everyone. But while Sheeran was away traveling the world, it seems he picked up a new talent: the art of humblebragging.
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The "Castle on the Hill" crooner has been promoting his new album, which probably didn't need that much promotion, to be honest, and in a couples of interviews the British musician has let his confidence shine. We can't say we blame him because the first two singles, "Shape of You" and "Castle on the Hill," were instant hits, but it's clear Sheeran knows it.
"I think this year is going to be the high point. I have a feeling about it," Sheeran told BBC News. "Seventeen is my lucky number, and everyone I was scared of releasing of albums around me released them all last year—people like Beyoncé and The Weeknd and Bruno Mars."
He continued, "Taylor [Swift] isn't going to be releasing until probably the end of this year—Christmas is the smartest time to release because that's when everyone buys records, so I've got a full year of just all Ed, all the time."
And when it comes to sales and power rankings, Sheeran has no problem saying how he thinks Divide will fare. "In a 100m sprint to get a No.1 album I just know I'm going to win," he told GQ. "I don't care who's doing what. I just know I'm going to win. I'm going to make sure I come first."
Part of his reasoning, he figures, is that no matter how many other artists are out there making similar music to him, he's doing it alone.
"There are so many singer-songwriters who do what I do that play with a band," he said in GQ. "Everyone walks away from me and thinks, 'I've never seen that before.' As soon as you lose that element of 'wow' you're just like everyone else. But what sets me apart now is being solo and it would be a drastic mistake to join the gang and be like everyone else."