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  • Ringo Starr’s “Photograph” and Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph” became hits in the United States.
  • A magazine predicted Ringo’s “Photograph” would become a No. 1 single.
  • Sheeran’s “Photograph” was inspired by a piano loop another star wrote.
Ed Sheeran with a microphone during his "Photograph" era
Ed Sheeran | Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Ringo Starr‘s “Photograph” and Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph” were both hits, but only one reached No. 1 in the United States. Another rock star helped Ringo write “Photograph.” In addition, a rock star helped Sheeran write his song of the same name.

George Harrison co-wrote Ringo Starr’s ‘Photograph’ and played guitar on the track

According to the 2015 book Ringo: With a Little Help, Ringo and George Harrison co-wrote “Photograph” and George played guitar on the track. To promote it, Ringo shot a music video that was played on the popular BBC show Top of the Pops. The song became critically acclaimed. In addition, Billboard predicted the song would become a No. 1 hit.

Ringo’s “Photograph” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a week, staying on the chart for 16 weeks in total. The tune appeared on the album Ringo, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The album spent 37 weeks on the chart, becoming the singer’s most popular LP in the United States. The song was played during Ringo’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, showing the song had a cultural impact all these years later.

Ed Sheeran said he heard a loop written by another rock star and wrote ‘Photograph’ in 10 minutes

During a 2015 interview with Capital FM, Sheeran discussed the origin of his “Photograph.” “I was in a relationship for about a year and a bit and I had left to go on tour with Snow Patrol for three months and then another further two months on my own tour,” Sheeran said. “I wrote it in Kansas City and finished it in Denver, and it was just about being away on that tour. It was a random experience how it came about.

“I wrote it with Johnny [Quinn] from Snow Patrol and he just had a loop on his laptop that he just put down that was just a three-note piano thing and I just started singing over that ‘loving can hurt, loving can hurt,’ and then the song just kinda fell out within about 10 minutes,” Sheeran explained. “It was pretty cool.” Sheeran’s “Photograph” was a hit, but it didn’t chart as high as Ringo’s.

How Ed Sheeran’s song and its parent album performed in the United States

Sheeran’s “Photograph” hit No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for 30 weeks. While Ringo’s song charted higher, Sheeran’s remained on the chart for a longer time. Sheeran’s song appeared on the album x, which topped the Billboard 200 for one of its staggering 314 weeks on the chart. The album lasted longer on the chart than any of Sheeran’s other LPs.

Ringo and Sheeran are very different artists but they both found success with the same title.