Ed Sheeran Hits 2 Billion Streams On Spotify, Which Might Be A Commentary On The Future Of Misogyny In Music
There's a little piece of my bleeding feminist heart that nearly died when I discovered that Eminem is the most-streamed artist on Spotify. I ache, I groan, I wonder how someone who raps about murdering his ex-wife and putting her body in a trunk can be so popular, let alone be allowed to record music. But then Ed Sheeran became the second artist to reach two billion streams on Spotify, after Eminem, and I started to feel a little better.
Ed Sheeran is, in many ways, the total opposite of Eminem, and it's not just the Britishness and red hair. Musically, their styles are at complete odds, and their messages are even more divergent. Where Eminem throws violent slander and threats towards women, Sheeran writes gorgeous love songs. Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" is, in fact, the most-streamed song on Spotify, and that alone shows that sensitivity can conquer toxic masculinity.
Sheeran's soft side also goes well beyond his music. His kindness to his fans goes almost unmatched. Not only does he want to make his music as accessible as possible, but he makes himself accessible as well. Just last year, Sheeran sang one of his songs to a dying fan, right before she succumbed to cystic fibrosis. Musical tastes aside, knowing that a man as kind as Sheeran is on top makes me feel a little better about the state of music.
We're starting to become more critical of artists when it comes to how they treat women in their work and in their personal lives, but we still have a long way to go. After all, Robin Thicke might have been scrutinized for "Blurred Lines"... but he still made millions off of it. Sheeran's popularity shows an increasing proclivity in music towards a nicer kind of gentleman, and I am on board with that. He is kind, funny, approachable, and good to women on and off-stage. He practices what he preaches, which in simplest terms, is love.
If Sheeran can be the sweet, open-hearted artist that he is, and be so overwhelmingly successful at it, the music industry might finally start paying more attention to the good guys. It pays to not be a misogynist... in so many ways.
Image: Getty Images