Former One Direction star Harry Styles is on course to beat Ed Sheeran to number one in the UK’s official album chart.
Styles is currently topping Sheeran’s Divide with his debut solo album, which was released on Friday.
Current figures show the 23-year-old singer has sold 24,000 more albums (or equivalent streams) than Sheeran, his closest competitor.
In March, Sheeran broke sales and streaming records by selling 232,000 copies on CD and vinyl on day one.
On the month of its release, Sheeran’s third studio album owned nine of the Official UK singles top 10 chart.
His unparalleled success even led to Sky News considering the possibility that Sheeran may have broken the UK charts forever.
Styles, the second One Direction star to release a solo studio album, has so far been triumphant in both the UK, the US and Canada.
Billboard, the official US chart maker, says Styles “could earn over 250,000 equivalent album units in the US in the week ending May 18” – which would make it the biggest sales launch for a UK male solo album.
Both the UK and the US analyse sales in a multi-metric consumption, which brings together traditional sales, streams and track equivalents.
Last week, Kasabian – the only band to have briefly dethroned Sheeran in the charts since March – slipped down from number one to seventh place with For Crying Out Loud.
The rest of the top five is made up of Gorillaz with their newly released album Humanz, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN and Rag’n’Bone Man’s Human.
Styles’ debut single Sign Of The Times debuted at number one in April.
This week it has gone from number 10 to number three, beaten only by Luis Fonsi and Justin Bieber’s Despactio and DJ Khaled’s I’m The One..