Adele may have walked away from last night's Mercury Prize empty handed but she hasn't had to wait too long to find consolation. The twenty-three year-old London singer is the first artist ever to score three million U.K. album sales in one calendar year, thanks to her all-conquering sophomore studio set "21"
Released in the United Kingdom on London-based independent XL Recordings, "21" made its bow January 24 this year and, come Sunday, will have spent 33 weeks in the Top 5 of the Official U.K. Albums Chart. That equates to an average sale of almost 91,000 copies per week since the album was released and equivalent to over 13,000 albums sold per day, according to a statement released by the Official Charts Company (OCC).
"21" now stands as the third best selling album by a British female artist, surpassed only by Leona Lewis's 2007 debut release, "Spirit," which shifted 3.03m copies, and Amy Winehouse's "Back To Black" (3.29m), which last month overtook James Blunt's "Back To Bedlam" to become the highest selling album of the 21st century, says the OCC.
Commenting on the historic feat, Martin Talbot, managing director of the Official Charts Company, said in a statement: "Three million albums in a year is a simply extraordinary achievement by Adele, who is now occupying an unparalleled position in the history of British music."
"In reaching such an elevated landmark so quickly, "21" has eclipsed any other album previously released in the U.K., superceding even the likes of "Sgt. Pepper," "Thriller," "Dark Side Of The Moon," "Brothers In Arms," he went on to say, adding, "There is no questioning now that Adele has joined the ranks of British music legends."
As previously reported, "21" was one of 12 U.K. artist albums shortlisted for the 2011 Mercury Prize, which was won by PJ Harvey's eighth studio set "Let England Shake" (Island Records). Adele did not perform at the London ceremony due to a chest infection, which also caused her to cancel the opening dates of her current U.K. tour.