Ed Sheeran’s tribute to Michael Gudinski is a challenger to the U.K. chart crown.
Sheeran last week announced details for his fourth solo studio album, = (equals), and shared a new cut from it, ‘Visiting Hours.’
The song and its new music video is deeply connected to the late Mushroom Group Chairman and his homeland. Sheeran wrote it while in quarantine en route to Gudinski’s state memorial on March 24, and the Brit performed it for the first time on the night.
“The best way to process stuff is through song,” he explained to the thousands who gathered earlier this year at Rod Laver Arena.
Also joining Sheeran on stage on that emotional evening was Kylie Minogue and Jimmy Barnes, both of whom lend vocals to the new song.
‘Visiting Hours’ is the highest new debut on the U.K. chart blast, opening at No. 3, just behind another song with Australian origins, The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber’s ‘Stay,’ and Sheeran’s months-long leader, ‘Bad Habits.’
All will be revealed last Friday.
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Watch Ed Sheeran’s ‘Visiting Hours’:
Meanwhile, another Australian singer-songwriter makes an appearance further down the list. Clinton Kane looks certain to make his U.K. Top 40 debut, according to the OCC, as ‘I Guess I’m In Love’ is new at No. 19 on the early chart.
Sheeran’s new album is due out Oct. 29. “I’ve been through love, loss, new life, grief and everything in between during the whole period of writing it, and I feel like it’s really a coming of age record,” he explains. “I’ve never been more proud of a body of work, or more excited/nervous for you all to hear it.”
The Englishman led tributes to Gudinski, following his death March 2 at the age of 68.
“Michael was a tornado of joy,” he wrote in a personal Instagram in the days after Gudinski’s passing. “You would know he arrived in the building just by hearing the chaotic bark of his, and you could feel the room get excited about the arrival of his presence.”
Gudinski was posthumously crowned Billboard’s International Power Player of the year.
Stream ‘Visiting Hours’: