Ed Sheeran: Britain's Biggest Export Since 'Downton Abbey'

According to today's Guardian Ed Sheeran has become Britain's biggest export since Downton Abbey. Sheeran's success is based on his nice-guy image and simple songwriting. Sheeran, with his tousle-haired scruffy image, was the biggest-selling artist of 2014 with his second album, X, which has sold almost two million copies.

Whilst Sheeran's X was one of only two albums to sell more that one million copies this year, it has also had over 430 million streams worldwide since its release in June – more than any other artist globally. Sheeran is also the most-streamed artist on the planet, having exceeded over 830 million hits on Spotify. A pretty good return for an artist who was recently described as "inoffensive and vaguely credible." To put Sheeran's album sales into some context, X sold over one million more copies that 2013's top seller, One Direction's Midnight Memories.

The Daily Record reports that, according to new figures from the British music industry, UK acts, led by Ed Sheeran, have filled the entire top 10 of best-selling artist albums over the past 12 months for the first time. According to new figures from the British music industry. Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour clocked up 1.25 million and was the next biggest seller.

Sheeran has been able to establish a large fan base on both sides of the Atlantic, an accomplishment many musicians are unable to crack throughout the duration of their career. George Ergatoudis, head of music for BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, believes Ed Sheeran's ability to straddle a multitude of modern genres makes him stand out.

"[Sheeran] switches between folk music and black music in a unique way … no one else channels Eminem and Damien Rice simultaneously like he can," he said.

Sheeran gave a fantastic demonstration of this ability on New Years Eve when he performed Stevie Wonders "Master Blaster" on Jools Holland's annual Hootenanny show, a musical extravaganza that sees in the New Year.

Complete with horns, a big band, a dancing Father Time in the backround, and Jools Holland on the piano, Sheeran took on Stevie Wonder's classic "Master Blaster," and he totally nailed it.

Sheeran had a brilliant 2014 with his album sales, a headline appearance at Glastonbury, and winning best male artist at the inaugural BBC Music Awards.

The Guardian says, "Sheeran, already the most searched-for male celebrity on Google, may well see his career scale further heights in 2015, with two Grammy nominations and three nights at Wembley Stadium in July – two of which are sold out. Performing with only a backing band, loop pedal and an acoustic guitar, he is about to pull off the biggest busk of all time."

It would seem that Ed Sheeran is all set to go from strength to strength in 2015.

[Image Via MTV]