Not unexpectedly, Adele's "21" album spends a 22nd week atop the Billboard 200 chart, selling 297,000 (down 59%) according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's now the longest-running No. 1 since Prince & the Revolution's "Purple Rain" soundtrack scored 24 weeks at No. 1 in 1984 and 1985.
This is also "21's" ninth consecutive week at No. 1 -- the most in-a-row frames at No. 1 since the "Titanic" soundtrack racked 14-straight in 1998.
"21" -- released just over a year ago in the U.S. -- has now sold 7.65 million in the U.S. Of that figure, 1.83 million were shifted in 2012.
Adele has a second album in the top 10 this week, as her first set, "19," descends 4-7 with 39,000 (down 56%).
As this week's sales charts reflect the week (ending Feb. 26) following the busy Grammy Awards-fueled frame (ending Feb. 19), we see a lot of albums collapse in sales after a fast rise last week. Like the two Adele albums or the Civil Wars' "Barton Hollow" (10-31 with 15,000; down 48%) for example.
The late Whitney Houston's "Whitney: the Greatest Hits" holds at No. 2 with 174,000 (down less than 1%). Meanwhile, her single "I Will Always Love You" slides 2-13 on the Digital Songs chart with 101,000 downloads sold (down 72%).
As physical stock of Houston's albums are finally reaching retail outlets, we see some of her older catalog sets make moves up the list. "The Bodyguard" soundtrack, for one, rallies 38-6 (47,000; up 176%) while her "Whitney Houston" album motors 37-9 (30,000; up 72%). Since her death on Feb. 11, the bulk of her album sales have come from digital downloads, as most retailers didn't have physical copies of her albums on-hand.
The band fun. has a banner week on the Billboard 200 as its second album, "Some Nights," debuts at No. 3 with 70,000 sold. Their new album sold almost as much as their last set has sold in total (74,000).
Their debut set, "Aim and Ignite," debuted and peaked at No. 71 on the Billboard 200 in 2009, and has sold 74,000 to date. This week, it re-enters the chart at No. 116 with 5,000 (up 42%).
Fun. is basking in the success of the single "We Are Young" (featuring Janelle Monae), which is featured in Chevy's 2012 Sonic TV commercial. The song sells 291,000 downloads this week, returning it to No. 1 (6-1) on the Digital Songs chart (up 19%).
Back in the top 10, Tyga's debut studio album "Careless World: Rise of the Last King," starts at No. 4 with 61,000. The set's first week release was bungled a bit, courtesy of a sample-clearance issue. A good three or four days of the album's first-week sales were mostly driven by downloads (83% of its total), as the album had to be re-shipped to retailers after its sample of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech was found to be uncleared.
Alternative hip-hop act Chiddy Bang bows in the top 10 with its debut album, "Breakfast," starting at No. 8 with 31,000 -- nearly all of that downloads. The set was exclusively available in the iTunes Store last week, which also offered the album's "Handclaps & Guitars" as its free single of the week. "Breakfast" became available to all retailers on Feb. 28, a week after its iTunes launch.
Rounding out the top 10 on the albums chart this week are "Now 41" (3-5 with 54,000; down 43%) and the "2012 Grammy Nominees" compilation (5-10 with 29,000; down 66%).
Over on the Digital Songs chart, the aforementioned fun. return to No. 1 with "We Are Young" (featuring Janelle Monae) with 291,000 sold (up 19%). Last week's topper, Katy Perry's "Part of Me," falls to No. 4 in its second week with 187,000 (down 55%).
Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" rebounds 5-2 with 241,000 (down 4%) while the Wanted's "Glad You Came" zooms 19-3 with 188,000 (up 87%). The latter's gain is likely owed to the cast of "Glee" covering the tune on the Feb. 21 edition of the Fox series.
Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain" slips 4-5 (167,000; down 34%) while B.o.B bounds straight in at No. 6 with "So Good" (164,000). Nicki Minaj's "Starships" is steady at No. 7 for a second week (155,000; down 24%) while Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" (featuring Kimbra) flies into the top 10 -- climbing 17-8 (134,000; up 17%).
Just outside the top 10, Carrie Underwood arrives at No. 12 with her new single "Good Girl," selling 108,000 downloads. It enters the tally after only three days of sales, as it was released on Friday, Feb. 24 -- and the tracking week ended on Sunday, Feb. 26.
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Feb. 26) totaled 6.31 million units, down 18% compared to the sum last week (7.72 million) and down 3% compared to the comparable sales week of 2011 (6.50 million). Year to date album sales stand at 48.01 million, up 3% compared to the same total at this point last year (46.45 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 28.13 million downloads, down 13% compared to last week (32.28 million) and up 6% stacked next to the comparable week of 2011 (26.48 million). Year to date track sales are at 230.92 million, up 7% compared to the same total at this point last year (215.17 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2011 when: Adele's "21" held at No. 1 for a second week, selling 168,000 (down 52%). Marsha Ambrosious' "Late Nights & Early Mornings" debuted at No. 2 with 96,000.