Manchester Evening News - - CITYLIFE - By DIANNE BOURNE news­ @Ci­tyLifeManc

IF 2017 be­longed to one man in mu­sic, it was Ed Sheeran. The most streamed artist on Spo­tify, the best-sell­ing al­bum across the world, and dom­i­nat­ing the air­waves to such an ex­tent that even Sir El­ton John re­port­edly told his mu­si­cal mate that he was sick of hear­ing him.

While Ed’s record-break­ing al­bum of last year, Di­vide, clearly uni­fied the mass mar­ket, spawn­ing hit af­ter hit song, this year it’s all about Ed pay­ing back those fans with some ea­gerlyan­tic­i­pated live per­for­mances.

When he an­nounced his UK sta­dium tour last year, it sent fans into a frenzy.

One night at Manch­ester’s Eti­had Sta­dium swiftly sold out and date af­ter date was added until we can now ex­pect a huge run of four back-to-back ap­pear­ances at the home of Manch­ester City next week­end.

Some 200,000 fans will be head­ing to East­lands on Thurs­day, Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day, and can ex­pect all of Ed’s big­gest songs on the setlist in­clud­ing that eight bil­lion-streamed megahit Shape Of You, fan favourite Sing and de­but hit The A Team.

Hal­i­fax-born Ed, 27, started the tour in Belfast ear­lier this month, and five-star re­views swiftly fol­lowed.

Ed, who was awarded a Song­writ­ers Hall of Fame 2017 Hal David Starlight Award for his con­tri­bu­tion to mu­sic, was also hon­oured with an MBE for his ser­vices to mu­sic and char­ity by Prince Charles in De­cem­ber.

The royal seal of ap­proval as well? Ed’s world dom­i­na­tion ap­pears com­plete.

Ed Sheeran plays the Eti­had Sta­dium on Thurs­day May 24, Fri­day May 25, Satur­day May 26, Sun­day May 27. May 24, 25, 26 tick­ets sold out, but there is still avail­abil­ity for May 27 - and hospi­tal­ity pack­ages avail­able for all dates. For up-to-date ticket avail­abil­ity see tick­et­mas­ter. Gates open at 5pm

Ed Sheeran play­ing live and, be­low, Ed with his MBE for his ser­vices to mu­sic and char­ity

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