Fans lined up around the block in the wee hours of the morning

By Nick Romano
July 06, 2017 at 10:49 AM EDT

Ed Sheeran fans already began lining up around New York City’s Rockefeller Center at 3 a.m. for the British singer’s performance on the TODAY show Thursday. When he finally hit the stage, led by host Matt Lauer, the crowd perked up as the latest from NBC’s Citi Concert Series kicked off.

Approximately 12,000 people gathered to watch a bespectacled Sheeran, with a guitar in hand, rock out to some of his ÷ (Divide) album hits. Beginning with “Castle on the Hill,” he continued revving up the audience with “Shape of You” and “Galway Girl.” Fans sang along to the songs as they shot and posted video of the concert to social media.

In a pre-show interview for TODAY, Lauer noted how the line to get into the plaza “stretched all the way down 48th Street, down 6th Avenue.” Hoda Kotb and WNBC anchor Michael Gargiulo snapped video of all those waiting in the early morning hours to see the star.

According to Carson Daly, Sheeran’s audience “broke all crowd records for our summer concert series this [a.m.]”

Sheeran was quoted by The Sun in a recent interview as saying, “I’ve actually come off Twitter completely. I can’t read it. I go on it and there’s nothing but people saying mean things.” He mentioned how intense Lady Gaga fans can be about him, and she even came to his defense, writing on Instagram, “What an incredible talented artist I LOVE ED @teddysphotos deserves all our love and respect like all humans do.”

Sheeran later clarified his statements and the “Hoo-har” surrounding them. “I haven’t quit anything, I’m just not reading anything, except Harry Potter,” he wrote in a follow-up message.