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Don't is a song by Ed Sheeran and appears as the fourth track on his second studio album, X. Written by Sheeran and Benjamin Levin and produced by Rick Rubin and Levin, under his production moniker Benny Blanco, "Don't" was initially planned as the lead single for the album but was passed over in favour of "Sing". The song was instead released to iTunes on 13 June 2014 as the second "instant grat" promotional single from x. It entered the UK Singles Chart at number 19. "Don't" officially impacted US contemporary hit radio on 15 July 2014 as the album's second official single.
Background[edit | edit source]
"Don't" is a song about a girlfriend who cheated on him with a close friend, has been linked to several of Sheeran's fellow singers, including Ellie Goulding and Taylor Swift, but Sheeran has said it is "100 percent not about Taylor", but that he has played her the song, and she "never want[s] to piss [him] off that much". It started off "as a riff on his phone". "Don't" was planned to be released as the first single from the album, but it was decided that the chorus, especially the line "Don't f- with my love," was not suitable for a first single. The song was recorded first with Benny Blanco, then again with Rick Rubin, and the two producers came together to produce the final cut. The song almost didn't make it onto the album, as Sheeran felt it was "a bit personal," but was urged by those who had heard the demo to release it, as it was "an alright song... so it ended up on the record".
In 2015, Ellie Goulding released "On My Mind" for her third studio album, Delirium. The song was described by many critics as an answer song to "Don't", an allegation Goulding had denied.
Release[edit | edit source]
"Don't" was planned to be released as the first single from the album, but it was decided that the chorus, especially the line "Don't f- with my love," was not suitable for a first single. However, prior to the release of x, all swearing was cut from the album. Sheeran debuted a snippet of the song in a commercial for Beats by Dr. Dre in May 2014. On 13 June 2014, "Don't" was made available to customers who pre-ordered x as the second "instant grat" promotional single, following "One", and an official audio stream was released on Sheeran's YouTube page.
Critical Reception[edit | edit source]
In a Billboard track-by-track review, writer Jason Lipshutz stated: "Positioned on X right after "Sing," "Don't" shows that Sheeran is not afraid to be dangerous, or even explicit, on his sophomore set. There's some Jason Mraz-y rapping as Sheeran details a relationship that deteriorates due to touring and mistrust, as he seethes, 'I never saw him as a threat/Until you disappeared with him to have sex, of course.'" 
Music Video[edit | edit source]
An accompanying music video was released on YouTube on 4 August 2014. The video was directed by Emil Nava and follows a dancer (Philiph Cheebeb) going from poverty to wealth.
Tracklisting[edit | edit source]
Digital download – single
- "Don't" - 3:39
Digital download – extended play
- "Don't" (Rick Ross Remix) - 4:17
- "Be My Husband" (Live from Glastonbury) - 7:50
- "Everything You Are" - 3:58
Lyrics[edit | edit source]
Live Performances[edit | edit source]
Sheeran performed the song live for the first time on Saturday Night Live on April 12, 2014 along with Sing. He also performed a mash-up with his other song The A Team at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on May 1, 2014.
Remixes[edit | edit source]
Charts[edit | edit source]
"Don't" peaked at No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart. In the US, it became Sheeran's first top 10 single. It also made the top 10 in eight other countries.
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||43|
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||11|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||20|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||6|
|Scotland (Official Charts Company)||15|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||8|
|US Billboard Hot 100||13|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||28|
|US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)||7|
|US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)||8|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- "Don't" contains interpolations of "Don't Mess with My Man" by Lucy Pearl.
- The song was featured in an advert for the latest Beats by Dre headphones, the Solo II.
Videos[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- billboard.com - X Album Track-by-Track Review