Every musician longs for a No. 1 hit. But when you’re Ed Sheeran, you don’t just wish for hits: You make them.
The pop icon has landed in the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the second time with a with a new rendition of his single, “Perfect.” Propelling him to the top with this version, dubbed “Perfect Duet,” is none other than Queen B(eyoncé) herself.
This remix yields an unlikely musical pairing, one that some might hear as a perfect remix of the original.
“Perfect Duet,” an acoustic ballad, reaches romantically into the heart of Sheeran. He sings tenderly about the woman who reportedly inspired this song, former high school sweetheart, Cheery Seaborn, with whom he has rekindled a relationship as an adult.
Sheeran begins by gushing that he has finally “found a love” who is “beautiful and sweet,” someone he’s known since they “were just kids.” He declares, “I will not give you up this time.” Then he requests, “Darling, just kiss me slow.” But that’s as much physical intimacy as this song really hints at. This time around, Sheeran’s more interested in the emotional kind: “Your heart is all I own,” he says.
Later, even though this woman says she “looked a mess,” Sheeran insists, “Darling, you look perfect tonight.” With sweet nothings like those floating in the summer air, the couple dances, face to face: “And in your eyes, you’re holding mine/ … Barefoot on the grass/Listening to our favorite song.”
Beyoncé now enters, singing from her female perspective: “I found a man/Stronger than anyone I know,” she says. “To carry more than just my secrets/To carry love, to carry children.” And even though she sings, “We are still kids,” she soon adds, “I know we’ll be alright this time/ … Be your girl, you’ll be my man.”
To top it off, the pair joins together to finish the last piece of the dreamy duet with, “I have faith in what I see/Now I know I have met an angel/In person/And she looks perfect/And he looks perfect/ … You look perfect tonight.”
Ed Sheeran’s latest album, ÷, wasn’t nominated for the coveted Album of the Year Grammy Award this year. (That said Sheeran did receive two other noms: Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album.) But it’s not bothering him much.
In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Sheeran shared his perspective on being snubbed for that particular honor. “My outlook on it is some years you have your year and some years you don’t have your year,” the singer told DeGeneres. “Maybe this year isn’t my year.”
Instead of desiring the praise that award would inherently bring, Sheeran said he would much prefer having people love his work: “I’d rather have a lifetime of people coming up to me and saying, ‘This song is my wedding song,’ or ‘This song was my first kiss.'”
And I suspect this will indeed be the perfect song for many couples’ most romantic moments.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, loving raising their little guy, Judah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).