The superstars shared the spotlight on the duet, with Sheeran opening up the song by singing the first verse and chorus over light acoustic guitar picking and organ backing.
Beyonce comes in on the second verse, swapping the lyrics’ genders with support of choral background vocals, and then is joined by Sheeran partway through the second chorus.
“I have an email address that I email [to get in touch with Beyoncé] that actually changes every week,” Sheeran also told Entertainment Tonight when chatting about the pair’s new single. “She’s very good at…”
“It’s kind of like what I aspire to be I think,” he said on the Grammy winner’s elusiveness in a story posted on Saturday, December 2. “So I emailed that and we got on the phone.”
The “Shape of You” singer revealed that the collaboration had “been in the works since May.”
“Obviously she had twins [in June], and we finished [the song] in September, so I’ve been holding onto it since then,” he said of the song, which was just released on Thursday.
According to Sheeran, Beyoncé was a total pro and nailed the song in just one take. The songstress even had made some calls when it came to instrumentals.
“The original version of ‘Perfect’ was just an acoustic guitar and she rung me up and was like, ‘I don’t know how you feel about this but I’ve taken all the instruments off it and it’s just gonna be acoustic guitar,’ and I was like, ‘Ah that’s great, because it used to be that! ‘” he revealed. “Then when we got in together, it wasn’t so much notes, it was very much like a back and forth thing, like, ‘What’d you think of this?’ Or ‘What do you think of this?’ and [we were] probably in the studio for four hours.”
This is the second collaborative track featuring Sheeran this month – he also provided guest vocals on “End Game” on Taylor Swift’s Reputation.