Adele’s ‘21’ 2012’s best selling album

(Billboard) – For the first time since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991, the same album finishes as the United States’ best-seller for a second year. Adele’s ‘21’ triumphed in 2011 and ruled again in 2012.

20130105adeleThe XL/Columbia Records effort finishes 2012 with 4.41 million sold. In 2011, the set moved 5.82 million. Earlier in 2012, it became the 21st album in the SoundScan era to sell 10 million copies.

The top ten of 2012 are: (1) Adele, ‘21’ – 4.41 million albums sols; (2) Taylor Swift, ‘Red’ – 3.11 million; (3) One Direction, ‘Up All Night’ – 1.62 million; (4) Mumford & Sons, ‘Babel’ – 1.46 million; (5) One Direction, ‘Take Me Home’ – 1.34 million; (6) Justin Bieber, ‘Believe’ – 1.34 million; (7) Carrie Underwood, ‘Blown Away’ – 1.20 million; (8) Luke Bryan, ‘Tailgates & Tanlines’ – 1.10 million; (9) Lionel Richie, ‘Tuskegee’ – 1.07 million; and (10) Jason Aldean, ‘Night Train’ – 1.02 million.

The 2012 sales tracking year began on January 2, 2012 ended on December 30.

‘21’ debuted at No 1 on the Billboard 200 chart way back on the list dated March, 21, 2011. It has yet to leave the tally and has never been absent from the weekly top 40.

The year’s second-biggest selling album is ‘Red’. It’s the fourth time Swift has had an album ranked among a year’s top three sellers. In 2010, ‘Speak Now’ was the year’s No 3 set (2.99 million), in 2009 ‘Fearless’ was No. 1 (3.22 million) and in 2008, ‘Fearless’ was No 3 (2.11 million).

One Direction’s breakthrough debut album ‘Up All Night’ is 2012’s third-biggest set. The vocal quintet’s second album, ‘Take Me Home’, is the year’s No 5 seller. Both titles were released in 2012. It’s the first time since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991 that an act has had two of the year’s top five sellers.

A couple acts have come close to the feat previously: Taylor Swift had the Nos 3 and 6 albums of 2008 with ‘Fearless’ and her self-titled debut, while Garth Brooks had the Nos 2 and 6 sets of 1992 with ‘Ropin’ the Wind’ and ‘The Chase’, respectively. (In 1992, Brooks also had the No. 7 title with ‘No Fences’. He remains the only act to place three albums among any year’s top 10 best sellers.)

Mumford & Sons’ ‘Babel’ is the year’s biggest rock set. It’s the only rock effort in the top 10 this year. It’s familiar territory for the quartet, as they claimed the No 6 album of 2011 with ‘Sigh No More’ (1.42 million) and was the only rock title in that year’s top 10.

For the first time since 2008, no Christmas albums rank among the year’s top 10 sellers. 2012’s biggest holiday set was Rod Stewart’s ‘Merry Christmas, Baby’, which finished at No 15 with 858,000 sold. In 2011, two Christmas releases were among the top 10: Michael Buble’s ‘Christmas’ (No. 2 with 2.45 million) and Justin Bieber’s ‘Under the Mistletoe’ (No. 8 with 1.25 million).

Speaking of Bieber, his latest album, ‘Believe’, claims the No 6 slot on the 2012 year-end countdown. It moved 1.34 million last year. This is the third straight year the singer has made a year-end top 10 appearance. In 2011 his ‘Under the Mistletoe’ ranked at No 8 while in 2010, ‘My World 2.0’ was No 4 with 2.32 million.

The rest of 2012’s top 10 best selling albums are all country efforts. Carrie Underwood’s ‘Blown Away’, Luke Bryan’s ‘Tailgates & Tanlines’, Lionel Richie’s ‘Tuskegee’ and Jason Aldean’s ‘Night Train’.

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