Adele's "21" (XL) sold its millionth copy in the United Kingdom last week to secure a sixth week atop the album chart, while its "Someone Like You" track started a third week as the U.K.'s No. 1 single. As the English singer-songwriter continues to break records, Adele has now reached a million sales in the first quarter of a U.K. chart year faster than it has ever been done before.
"21" was released in the territory on Jan. 24 and sold another 180,000 copies last week, according to the Official Charts Company - a huge total for an album in its sixth week of release, and an increase even on the 173,000 it sold in week five. For the third straight week, Adele has two titles in both the singles and albums top fives, with her first album "19" down 2-4 and the previous single from the new set, "Rolling in the Deep," down 4-5.
Adele's continuing supremacy (read Billboard's cover story here ) was bad luck for rising British star Jessie J, whose debut album "Who You Are" (Lava/Universal Island) opened at No. 2. Initial sales of 105,000 would have been enough to secure the top spot in many chart weeks. Its former No. 1 single "Price Tag," featuring B.o.B., held at No. 2, with its predecessor "Do It Like A Dude" back up 13-10 and the album title track "Who You Are" new at No. 40.
Beady Eye, the new band featuring Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer and Andy Bell which has been described by some media commentators as "Oasis without Noel," debuted at No. 3, selling 66,000 copies of their first album "Different Gear Still Speeding" (Beady Eye). There was a no. 7 start for Polydor/Universal's much-vaunted British prospect Clare Maguire with "Light After Dark," while Alexis Jordan's self-titled debut album for Rocnation/Starroc/Columbia/Sony Music Entertainment) opened at No. 9.
Swedish artist Lykke Li's sophomore album "Wounded Rhymes" (Atlantic/Warner Music) opened at No. 37 and there was a remarkable, belated album chart debut for Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith. His acclaimed career had failed to produce a U.K. album chart entry within the published top 75, in 16 years since his highly-praised, self-titled Interscope/Warner Music debut in 1995.
But last Friday night saw the screening by the BBC's arts-leaning TV channel BBC4 of the Douglas Arrowsmith-directed film about the making of Sexsmith's new album, '"Long Player Late Bloomer," released in the U.K. by Cooking Vinyl. That was followed by an edition of the BBC's "Songwriters' Circle" series in which he performed at London's Bush Hall with British writer-artists Fran Healy and Graham Gouldman. That helped generate a new entry for the "Late Bloomer" album at No. 48.
There was also a new No. 1 on the U.K.'s compilation chart, with "Anthems Hip-Hop" (Ministry of Sound/Sony Music Entertainment) rising from last week's No. 2 debut.
The singles chart also saw Rihanna's "S&M" (Def Jam/Universal) holding at No. 4. "C'mon (Catch 'Em By Surprise)" (Wall of Sound) by Tiesto v. Diplo featuring Busta Rhymes raced 36-13, and "I Need A Doctor" (Interscope/Universal) by Dr. Dre featuring Eminem & Skylar Grey jumped 24-15.