Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Ed Sheeran releasing his one-off single “Afterglow.” So far, he has celebrated in a couple of ways, one much more hilarious than the other. The not-funny-but-still-good one is a video he shared of himself and some backing vocalists singing the song a capella in a church. His other observance is looking back at the time he tried to make the song go viral on TikTok and actually managed to do so, but not in the way he thought he would.
On December 27 last year, Sheeran shared a video of himself performing about a minute of the song, singing and playing acoustic guitar in a studio, and asked his fellow TikTok users to “duet” him, in this case meaning both to sing along with him and to use the TikTok’s “duet” feature to add their video to his in a side-by-side format. The video took off, as it currently has about 54.7 million views. As for the duets, they came flooding in, although it was mostly people ignoring the song and instead doing whatever sort of loud activity they could think of to drown out Sheeran’s performance.
Now, Sheeran has made a new video looking back on the situation. The text on screen reads, “A year ago I joined TikTok to create a trend for my song Afterglow. It went so well. So many talented duets.” The video then shows off some of the duets Sheeran’s request yielded, which include people banging on a drum, using a blender, and playing a didgeridoo. Sheeran also captioned the post, “Join TikTok they said, go viral they said.”
So far, the responses to Sheeran’s new video are nicer this time around, as most of the comments are from people empathizing with Sheeran and praising him for being able to take a joke.
Ed Sheeran is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.