Despite releasing “Perfect Duet” more than a year ago, Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé never linked up for a live performance of the doe-eyed ballad — probably because she’s been off touring with hubby Jay-Z, while he’s been playing stadiums of his own. But that finally changed on Sunday (December 2), when the English crooner and the Lemonade legend took the stage together in South Africa at Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, a star-studded event honoring the legacy of Nelson Mandela.
For their inaugural performance of “Perfect Duet,” Sheeran and his trusty guitar joined a fuschia-clad Bey onstage at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium, in front of a crowd of nearly 100,000 people. As seen in the footage below, the stripped-back stage design kept the focus entirely on the pair, as fans sang along and lit up the stadium with cell phone lights. Their harmonies were heavenly, their musical chemistry was stunning, and it was simply… perfect.
“Perfect Duet,” a re-recorded version of Sheeran’s lovestruck Divide ballad — and many a couple’s wedding song over the past year — topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five straight weeks beginning in December of last year. It marked Beyoncé and Sheeran’s first collaboration on wax, though the two had previously teamed up for an acoustic performance of “Drunk in Love” at another Global Citizen Festival, in 2015. Judging by the magic they make onstage together, hopefully they’ll treat fans to more joint performances soon.