Ed Sheeran's new album X has broken Spotify's weekly streaming record in Britain.
The British singer/songwriter's sophomore release has overtaken Daft Punk's Random Access Memories to score the highest number of online listens in the U.K. in a seven-day period.
Sheeran's X broke the 6.3 million mark during the first week after its debut on 23 June (14), exceeding Daft Punk's previous record of around 6.2 million.
X also became Britain's fastest selling album of 2014 last week (end28Jun14) after shifting 182,000 copies.
British singer Ed Sheeran is convinced laser surgery to remove a birth mark affected his nervous system and gave him a speech impediment. The pop star struggled with a stammer when he was at school, but has learned to control it in recent years.
He has now revealed his speech problems started after he underwent a painful procedure to remove a birth mark from his face when he was nine years old.
Sheeran tells Britain's Fabulous magazine, "One day they forgot to put anaesthetic on (my face) and it f**ked up my nervous system. It (the stammer) was a problem, but it's kind of gone. It creeps back when I'm under pressure."
Pop star Ed Sheeran is celebrating after scoring his first U.K. number one single. The A Team hitmaker has previously enjoyed four top 10 hits from his debut album, +, but new song Sing is the first of his tracks to hit pole position in his native country.
The chart triumph comes days after Sheeran admitted he didn't want to release Sing as the initial offering from his forthcoming album X, revealing he was swayed to do so after receiving advice from his superstar pals Taylor Swift, Elton John and superproducer Pharrell Williams.
The song keeps Sam Smith's Stay With Me at number two, while last week's chart-topper, Secondcity's I Wanna Feel, drops two places to three.
In the U.K. albums chart, Smith lands a second week at the top with The Lonely Hour, ahead of Coldplay's Ghost Stories at two and Clean Bandit's New Eyes, which debuts at three.
There was also good news for Dame Vera Lynn - the beloved entertainer's new war songs release, titled The Ultimate Collection, enters the albums chart at 13, making her the oldest living artist to hit Britain's top 20 at the age of 97. The disc was released this week (ends08Jun14) to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Lynn became the darling of British troops during World War Two with her songs of hope. She also holds the record as the first and only artist over the age of 90 to reach number one on the U.K. album charts, thanks to her 2009 compilation album, We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn.
Rockers Metallica are desperate to prove the doubters wrong with their headline slot at Britain's Glastonbury festival, insisting the controversy around their inclusion is "a good thing". The Enter Sandman hitmakers were unveiled last month (May14) as the surprise bill-topping act on the Saturday night of this year's (14) event, which will mark the first time a heavy metal band has headlined the iconic festival.
The announcement surprised many critics, who suggested they are unsuitable for the event and cited a similar furore surrounding Jay Z's Glastonbury set in 2008.
However, drummer Lars Ulrich is adamant the controversy proves fans are still passionate about music and he reveals the rockers are determined win over their critics.
He tells BBC Radio 1's Rock Show, "The fact that everyone's got an opinion I'll take as a good thing because it means that people still care and are still interested and we still have one foot in relevance of some sort...
"It's comforting that 33 years into a career you can still mange to stir it up a little bit. Glastonbury is the biggest, greatest festival on this planet and we're headlining Saturday night. Bring it on. We're going to show up and have fun but all the hoopla is interesting."
The three-day festival, which will also feature sets from Lily Allen, Ed Sheeran, Arcade Fire and Kasabian, takes place in southwest England from 27-29 June (14).
Metallica have been announced as the first heavy rock act to headline Britain's Glastonbury festival. The group will fill the summer music event's vacant headline slot on 28 June (14) and join Kasabian and Arcade Fire as the main draws for the iconic weekend festival in Somerset, England.
The gig will mark Metallica's debut appearance at Glastonbury, and serve as a warm-up for the band's Sonisphere festival appearance at Knebworth Park, England in July (14).
Confirming the news on Thursday (08May14), festival founder Michael Eavis told the BBC, "They wanted to play for a long, long time and they're one of the most amazing rock bands in the world; everywhere I go people say, 'When are Metallica going to play?' I said, 'They will be here one day', and this is their time now."
Drummer Lars Ulrich says, "I feel ecstatic. We've been waiting for this phone call for years."
Among the hundreds of acts set to perform at Glastonbury this summer, alongside the headliners, are Dolly Parton, De La Soul, Manic Street Preachers, Yoko Ono, Jake Bugg and Ed Sheeran.
Sir Elton John cried as he prepared to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his groundbreaking album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - because he was so "innocent" when he recorded it. The Rocket Man star reveals he shed a few tears as he reminisced about what it was like to be 26 again, before he started drinking alcohol and abusing drugs.
In a pre-taped interview with U.S. breakfast show Today, which aired in part on Monday (31Mar14), he said, "I'm not someone who normally looks back; I'm not someone who gets nostalgic, but I had to listen to this album, because I had to do interviews about it.
"It made me very emotional. I cried a little at it, because it reminded me of a time when I was very innocent. I hadn't done a drug."
The huge success of the album thrust Elton firmly into the public eye, but he struggled with the pitfalls of fame and battled a serious substance abuse problem.
He has now been sober for over two decades, and he refuses to blame the popularity of the 1973 album for his personal woes.
Elton continues, "I don't blame anything. I don't blame anybody or anything, it was just me being inquisitive. (It was like), 'OK, I'll try it, I'll join in. I'll be part of the gang.' Bad decision. If I could go back again, I would never do it."
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road has since been re-released to mark its milestone, with artists including Ed Sheeran, Miguel, Hunter Hayes, The Band Perry, Emeli Sande and Fall Out Boy covering Elton's classics.
British singer Lily Allen fears the music industry will be biased against female stars unless more women are installed in top jobs. The Smile hitmaker has taken aim at record labels for failing to have enough females working at an executive level, telling Britain's The Sun newspaper, "I am astonished by the lack of female executives. I cannot understand or fathom it."
Allen goes on to suggest female artists are measured by the success of their male associates, adding, "You will also notice of the big successful female artists, there is always a 'man behind the woman' piece. If it's Beyonce, it's Jay Z. If it's Adele, it's (songwriter) Paul Epworth. Me? It was Mark Ronson and the same with Amy Winehouse.
"You never get that with men. You can't think of the man behind the man. Because it is a conversation that never happens. If you are Ed Sheeran or someone, no one ever talks about who has produced or who is the man behind Ed Sheeran."
The saying is, "Good things come in threes." Or something close to it. That especially pertains to movies, thiough with the trilogies, with rare exceptions, there's usually two really really strong movies that then can stand a weak third one (that's one reason why The Matrix isn't here - the sequels greatly diminshed the original). Here's five of our favorite trilogies. What, you're only expecting three?
1. Original Star Wars
A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi far outclass the prequels - I'll take the Ewoks over Jar Jar Binks ANY day. Yub Yub. And any movie with the voice of James Earl Jones is bound to be awesome.
2. Indiana Jones
The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull NEVER HAPPENED. With Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade, you have three nearly infinitely rewatchable movies. Also, what do you know, Harrison Ford appeared in the top two trilogies. That's definitely a great career.
3. Lord of the Rings
Just completely epic work by Peter Jackson - and that was just on what he showed in the theaters, not what was on the extended edition DVDs. I think J.R.R. Tolkien would have been proud of this adaptation of his classic books. Note: No, The Hobbit is NOT a trilogy.
4. Toy Story
Usually there's a weak link in one of the three movies - not so here. I'd consider any of them a classic. The first Toy Story was also one that showed that computers were just as capable of doing great animation as hands.
5. The Godfather
The first two movies are SO good that they almost make me forget Sofia Coppola's bad acting in the third one. Who can forget the performances of Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and James Caan? Poor, poor Fredo.
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British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran has been feted with a stage named in his honour at a U.K. music festival. The A Team hitmaker played at Ipswich Music Day in 2009 and 2010 at the start of his career, and now the platform he performed on has been renamed the Ed Sheeran Stage in recognition of his huge success.
Sheeran insists he feels "privileged" to add the tribute to his list of accolades, adding, "I remember playing at the event a few years ago and it was great fun."
Organisers of the annual event in Suffolk, England, which will take place this year on 7 July (13), said the dedication was to mark the "importance of encouraging young talent".
The festival is held close to Sheeran's hometown of Framlingham.