Adele storms in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with her sophomore album, "21," selling 352,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
It's her best sales week-and highest-charting album-and also the biggest frame for any album since the week ending Nov. 28, 2010. That's when Kanye West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" and Nicki Minaj's "Pink Friday" started at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, with 496,000 and 375,000.
Notably, "21" also bows atop the Digital Albums chart with 217,000 downloads-62% of the set's overall first week. Again, it's the fattest week for a digital set since West's "Fantasy" moved 224,000 downloads in its premiere.
Adele, who took home the best new artist Grammy Award in 2009, reached No. 10 with her debut set, "19." It has spent 71 weeks on the tally and has shifted 948,000 copies in the United States. This week, it bounds 50-16 on the Billboard 200, giving the singer a pair of albums in the top 20. It's the first time an artist has placed his or her first two releases concurrently in the top 20 since Justin Bieber did so on June 5, 2010, with "My World" and "My World 2.0."
"Rolling in the Deep," the first single from "21," was released last November and has slowly built steam on the charts. It started out on our Triple A rock radio tally in early December, before gaining traction at other formats. It bowed on the Billboard Hot 100 on Dec. 25 and broke into the top 40 for the first time last week.
This week it vaults 13-7 on the Digital Songs chart, moving 151,000 (up 26%). To date, since its release to retailers on Nov. 30 of last year, it has sold 621,000.
Another "21" song, "Someone Like You," which Adele has been performing to great reaction on a number of TV shows, bows at No. 45 with 51,000. She memorably sang "Someone Like You" at the BRIT Awards on Feb. 16, and in two weeks' time, its two clips with the most views on YouTube have racked up 3.3 million views.
To compare, Rihanna also performed on the BRITs, singing a medley of songs from her "Loud" album, and its most-viewed clips have tallied 1.3 million views.
Prior to the album's release, Adele stopped by "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" (both on Feb. 24), CBS' "Early Show" (Feb. 25) and "Chelsea Lately" (Feb. 28). The official video for "Rolling in the Deep" has picked up more than 16 million views on YouTube and Vevo.
Adele's "21" is basically the only exciting news on the Billboard 200 this week, as the next-highest debut arrives at No. 29 from Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows and its "D.R.U.G.S." album (14,000).
A year ago this week, the chart was just as quiet, when Sade's "Soldier of Love" reigned for a third week (127,000, down 34%) while Johnny Cash's "American VI" was the top debut, arriving at No. 3 (54,000).
Expect "21" to spend at least another week at No. 1, based on early projections from industry prognosticators. Next week's biggest arrival could come be former Floetry member Marsha Ambrosius' solo J debut, which is aiming for a top five bow. Dropkick Murphys and Staind singer Aaron Lewis are also on the hunt for high bows.
GRAMMY COMEDOWN: After two weeks of sales increases in the wake of the Feb. 13 Grammy Awards, the chart quiets down this week, with only two non-debuting titles in the top 50 experiencing an increase in sales.Although everything in the top 10 falls apart, because Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" has less of a decline (42,000, down 22%) than the other holdovers in the top five, it rises 8-5. It joins his own "Never Say Never: The Remixes" at No. 2 (down one with 102,000 and a decline of 38%) in the region, marking the first time an artist has had two sets in the top five since Bieber himself managed it on April 10, 2010.
Prior to Bieber's achievement that week, the last time an artist scored a pair of simultaneous top fives was on Oct. 9, 2004, when Nelly's concurrently released albums "Suit" and "Sweat" were at Nos. 2 and 4 in their second week on the tally.