The new mix features a more acoustic sound than the orchestral original, the latter of which appeared on Sheeran’s album ÷ (Divide). The English singer-songwriter, 26, opens with the ballad’s original first verse and chorus before Queen Bey, 36, joins in for the second verse. They sing the final chorus together.
Sheeran later revealed how the collaboration happened. “The [original] song came out so long ago in the scheme of music … and I was like, I want to do it as a single, and then I thought of a way of relaunching it,” he told Ellen DeGeneres on Ellen’s Show Me More Show on Friday, December 1. “I was like, ‘I love Beyoncé. Should I ask Beyoncé?’ And then in my head, I was like, ’She’s going to say no,’ but then I was like, ‘Well, you might as well ask.’ And she said yeah, so here we are.”
The “Perfect” duet marks the third time the musicians have teamed up. They performed a tribute to Stevie Wonder on the 2015 TV special Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star Grammy Salute. Later that year, they joined forces again to sing a rendition of Beyoncé’s song “Drunk in Love” at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City.
Sheeran told DeGeneres that “Perfect” is inspired by his girlfriend of nearly three years, Cherry Seaborn. “We went to high school together,” he said. “She’s really cool.”
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!