The singer's historic sales week becomes even more breathtaking when put into historical context.
The act of purchasing of an album -- whether from your computer or your local store -- has become an increasingly rare thing for folks to do. Other than a small 1.4 percent increase in album sales in 2011, every year for the past 15 years the album has been finding it harder and harder to breathe.
With that in mind, the fact that Adele's 25 is already breaking 24-year-old sales records, just over halfway through its debut week, is a staggering feat. Sending her already-impressive numbers back in time, however, shows just how dramatic the singer's success really is.
25 is projected to sell 2.9 million units in its debut week, slightly above the current record of 2.4 million achieved by *NSYNC in 2000 with the release of No Strings Attached. Album sales reached their historical peak in 2000, falling 60.6 percent through last year. Although digital track sales have partially filled that void, total sales have fallen sharply. No Strings Attached was released when total music sales (albums plus digital tracks) were about 2.5 times higher than today.