Ed Sheeran had an impressive 2017, and now Spotify is ending the year with a tribute to its No. 1 streamed artist. Just a few weeks after Sheeran was named the top artist of the year on the popular music streaming site, the English singer-songwriter has been tapped to star in a holiday ad for the company that shows why he is the “Perfect” artist for the site’s more than 140 million users.
In the ad, a gingerbread cookie version of Ed Sheeran—a “Ginger Ed Man,” if you will— sings his song “Perfect” as the singer sits by a Christmas tree. After eyeing the crooning confection, Sheeran promptly bites the head of off his mini-me as a congratulatory message to him appears onscreen. As Ed crunches on his cookie, the message reads, “Congrats, Ed Sheeran, The most-streamed artist of 2017.”
Spotify recently released its annual list of the year’s top tracks and artists, and chief content officer Stefan Blom proclaimed, “There is no doubt that 2017 was The Year of Ed Sheeran.” Ed Sheeran’s third studio album, Divide, was released in March, two months after the lead singles “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You” dropped.
You can see Ed Sheeran’s “Ginger Ed Man” Spotify commercial below.
According to The Verge, in 2017, Ed Sheeran’s Grammy-nominated “Shape of You,” became the most-streamed track in Spotify’s history, racking up 1.4 billion streams since its release in January and skyrocketing the 26-year-old singer to top artist status on the platform and knocking Drake down to the number two slot. Drake was Spotify’s most streamed artist in 2015 and 2016.
In a new video from The New York Times, Ed Sheeran revealed that “Shape Of You” wasn’t something he wrote thinking it would become a massive hit. In fact, he really had no need to write it at all. Songwriter Johnny McDaid even revealed that Ed already had enough material for his third studio album, Divide, but the song became a spontaneous addition when he collaborated with Sheeran in the studio.
“None of us thought that much into it,” Sheeran said. “I didn’t make the song to be mine to sing.”
Producer Steve Mac told the Times:
“If we had went into the session writing a song for Ed Sheeran, I don’t think we’d ever had recorded ‘Shape Of You.'”
After Mac played the song’s signature opening notes on the keyboard, Sheeran began to add percussion. Mac joked that Ed Sheeran’s impatience played a part in the song’s evolution because the singer couldn’t wait for him “to get a drum sound up” so he just went and did it on a guitar.
The trio also tweaked the lyrics to “Shape of You,” as McDaid felt the words “I’m in love with your body” sounded “objectifying.” They later added the lyric, “I’m in love with the shape of you”—and a Spotify hit was born.
You can see the official music video for Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” below.