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Ed Sheeran breaks tour record

Ed Sheeran made history on Friday, as his show at Messegelände in Germany officially marked the moment he overtook U2's record for the most attended and highest-grossing tour ever.

Ed Sheeran at his Divide tour concert at FNB Stadium on Saturday, 24 March 2019. Picture: Winnie Theletsane/EWN

LONDON - Ed Sheeran's Divide Tour has broken the record for the most attended and highest-grossing tour of all time, which was previously set by U2 in 2011.

The Castle on the Hill hitmaker made it into the history books on Friday, as his scheduled show at Messegelände in Hannover, Germany, officially marked the moment he overtook U2's record for the most attended and highest-grossing tour ever.

In 2011, U2's 360 Tour brought in a staggering $735.4 million after the band concluded an intense 110 show run between June 2009 and July 2011.

The Divide Tour beat U2's record on Sheeran's 246th show of the lengthy trek, making $736.7 million with still several weeks left to go. The tour has been running since March 2017 and was set to conclude on 26 August this year, when Sheeran would play his 255th show in Ipswitch, England.

According to Poll Star, the volume of Sheeran's shows meant he surpassed U2's attendance record earlier than the gross sales record, despite having a lower average attendance of 34,541 per show, versus U2's 66,091 average.

But the sales tally comes as the 28-year-old musician actually had the lowest average ticket price out of the Top 10 highest-grossing tours of 2018, charging an average of $86.75, and offering no VIP packages.

Speaking about his record-breaking tour on Instagram on Friday, Sheeran wrote: "Today the Divide tour broke the all-time tour record set by U2. It's now the most attended and highest-grossing tour of all time. Thanks so much for each and every one of you who have come to a show. 12 shows left, will never forget it x (sic)"

And Sheeran's manager Stuart Camp told Poll Star: "What Ed has accomplished is truly incredible. I thought we might have a shot at having the highest attendance record but not the highest-grossing tour. I don't think there's much of a coincidence that my favourite band growing up was U2. I'm not putting us at that level because they've obviously maintained their career for much longer, but to even be in the same ballpark as them or spoken in the same sentence with a touring act like that is very humbling."

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