Ed Sheeran is bowing out of 2015 with a bang after his album X was certified double platinum by officials at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
The rare feat, which commemorates sales of over two million in the U.S., makes X just one of four albums to reach the special status since 2014, and Ed is in good company - the other releases are his pal Taylor Swift's 1989, and his fellow Brits Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour and Adele's 25, which sold a stunning 3.38 million units in its first week on release last month (Nov15).
RIAA chiefs announced the news on Thursday (17Dec15), when they shared a photo of Ed being presented with his early Christmas present on Twitter.
"Congratulations to @edsheeran!" the caption reads. "x is 2X multi-Plat, 1 of 4 albums since 2014 to earn multi-Plat (sic)!"
Ironically, Ed is unlikely to see the congratulatory tweet for a while as he recently announced plans to take a break from social media following the end of his Multiply world tour in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend (12Dec15).
"Happy Xmas (Tour is over)", he wrote on Twitter after the gig at the Mount Smart Stadium, in a reference to John Lennon's festive song, Happy Xmas (War is Over).
He then revealed his self-imposed hiatus in a lengthy post on Instagram on Sunday (13Dec15), titled, "Please read x".
"Hello all," the Thinking Out Loud singer wrote. "I'm taking a break from my phone, emails and all social media for a while. I've had such an amazing ride over the last 5 years but I find myself seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes so I'm taking this opportunity of me not having to be anywhere or do anything to travel the world and see everything I missed.
"To my family and friends, if you love me you will understand me buggering off for a bit, to my fans, the 3rd album is on its way and is the best thing I have made thus far. See you all next autumn, and thank you for being amazing."