Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran was the UK's most-played artist of 2021

The star also had the most-played song of the year with Bad Habits.

It's the fourth time in five years that Sheeran has been named the UK's most-played artist, calculated by plays on radio, TV, pubs, clubs and shops.

The singer last topped the most-played song chart in 2017 with Shape Of You, over which he recently won a High Court copyright case.

Sheeran's continued success is "a testament to the quality of his output [and] the strength of UK music at a time when the global music landscape is more competitive than ever," said PPL chief executive Peter Leatham.

Ed Sheeran adds two new shows to his New Zealand tour

Sheeran previously announced the + - = ÷ x Tour (pronounced The Mathematics Tour) would make it to NZ in February 2023.

The Bad Habits singer has today added an extra show at Wellington’s Sky Stadium on Wednesday, February 1, ahead of Thursday’s sold out gig.

Eden Park in Auckland hosts an additional show on Saturday, February 11, following the sold out set the night before.

Sheeran then heads to Australia for a series of stadium concerts across the Tasman.

Ed Sheeran wins 'Shape of You' copyright case

A judge ruled on Wednesday that the singer-songwriter had not plagiarised the 2015 song 'Oh Why' by Sami Chokri.

Chokri, a grime artist who performs under the name Sami Switch, had claimed the "Oh I" hook in Sheeran's track was "strikingly similar" to an "Oh why" refrain in his own track.

After the ruling, Sheeran said such "baseless" claims "are way too common".

In a video on social media, he said there was now a culture "where a claim is made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court, even if there's no basis for the claim".

Ed Sheeran awaits verdict in 'traumatising' Shape of You copyright trial

The star has been accused of copying part of the song from another artist.

In closing arguments, grime artist Sami Chokri's barrister said there was an "indisputable similarity between the works". But Mr Sheeran's lawyer said the case against him was "so strained as to be logically unintelligible".

Mr Justice Zacaroli said he would "take some time to consider my judgment".

The 11-day trial ended on Tuesday. Ian Mill QC, representing Mr Sheeran, said it had been "deeply traumatising" for the star and his co-writers, Johnny McDaid and Steve Mac.

Ed Sheeran copyright trial: Songwriter says he 'feels robbed'

Sami Chokri says he was hurt by the tone of Sheeran's lawyers' emails after he noticed similarities between his song Oh Why and Sheeran's Shape Of You.

"I feel like I've been robbed by someone I respect, or respected," he told the court.

"This is years of a cloud over my head. All I heard and read was emails belittling me and my questions."

He continued: "All I wanted to do was ask for an explanation. If I'd had one we wouldn't have had to go through with this rubbish."

He later called the trial "the most horrible few weeks of my life".

Ed Sheeran: I would not be here without Jamal Edwards

Tributes flooded in earlier this week, after news broke of the death of the influential 31-year-old.

Posting on Instagram on Wednesday evening, Brit Award-winner Sheeran said he "would not be here without him".

"Jamal is my brother," wrote Sheeran, alongside a picture of the two of them.

"His light shone so bright."

Sheeran added that Edwards, who also helped to launch the careers of stars like Dave, Skepta and Jessie J, "only used it to illuminate others and never asked for anything in return".

LadBaby aim for Christmas chart record - with help from Ed Sheeran and Elton John

YouTube stars Mark and Roxanne Hoyle have raised money for the Trussell Trust food bank charity with their sausage roll-themed singles since 2018.

This year's attempt is a cheeky version of Ed and Elton's Merry Christmas, called Sausage Rolls For Everyone.

LadBaby could overtake the Spice Girls and Beatles as the act with the most consecutive Christmas number ones.

The Beatles had three in a row in the 1960s and the Spice Girls achieved the same feat in the 90s, with LadBaby matching the record over the past three years.

Ed and Elton reveal their Christmas chart contender

Titled Merry Christmas, it's a bittersweet track that celebrates the season while remembering "the ones who have gone" in a painful year.

Complete with sleigh bells, ding-dongs and celestial choirs, it is one of three songs the stars wrote after Sir Elton pitched the idea last Christmas.

But the duo face stiff competition in the charts from Adele and LadBaby.

(Scroll down to read more about this year's contenders)

MTV EMAs: Ed Sheeran and BTS win in Hungary as LGBT community shines

Sheeran, who opened the ceremony on Sunday, won best artist and best song for Bad Habits.

BTS picked up four awards including best pop and best group.

Rapper Saweetie called for tolerance as she hosted the event in the Hungarian capital amid controversy over recent anti-LGBT legislation in the country.

The US star insisted it is "always important we respect each other", as she relaxed on a chaise longue wearing a bikini in a mock spa location - a reference to Budapest's spa culture.

Ed Sheeran tests positive for Covid-19

The chart-topping musician said in a post on his Instagram page that he would continue to give planned interviews and performances from home.

Sheeran, who lives near Framlingham in Suffolk, said: "Apologies to anyone I've let down, be safe everyone x."

Last week he performed in London as part of the inaugural Earthshot Prize awards, hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

In his post, Sheeran said: "Hey guys, quick note to tell you that I've sadly tested positive for Covid, so I'm now self-isolating and following government guidelines.