Ed Sheeran, with the country's top album, lit up downtown Huntington Saturday night with a surprise concert at The Paramount.
Throngs of eager teens lined New York Avenue and several other blocks to see Sheeran, 23, a Grammy-nominated British singer and songwriter.
The news of the impromptu concert came via his tweets about 5 p.m.: "I've never done this before, and it's very last minute, but I feel like doing a show, so come on down to the paramount Huntington, love x."
Fans responded with gusto.
"I screamed," said Jackie Riekert, 17, of Huntington, with a posse of Sheeran fanatics, fresh-faced teens who don't take fandom lightly. Headed elsewhere, they turned the car around, parked themselves at the front of the line by 6:30 and snagged their tickets.
Sheeran is promoting his second album "X," pronounced "Multiply," which is ranked No. 1 on iTunes and Billboard. The album features "Sing," a Top 40 hit. Notable songs by Sheeran include "The A Team," which was nominated for song of the year in 2013. He was a best new artist nominee at this year's Grammy Awards show.
Paramount spokesman Adam Ellis said Sheeran was doing a rehearsal there Saturday afternoon for a radio show and decided to perform a full show for fans. Sheeran was in the area following his appearance Friday on the "Today" show.
Tickets were sold for $20 only at the box office, on a first-come, first-served basis.
For fans who were farther back in line, their hopes began to dim as the clock ticked.
After 9 p.m., young female fans screamed, squealed and grabbed each other as they finally handed over their $20 and slid past the bouncer through the venue's front doors.
The show sold out about 9:40 p.m., with 1,555 tickets, Ellis said.
Sheeran tweeted: "Sorry to all those who couldn't get a ticket, last minute first come first serve show, but I love you all the same x."
With Glenn Gamboa