Chart Beat

Adele's '21' Surpasses 11 Million In U.S. Sales

Lauren Dukoff


Adele's mega-selling second studio album, 21, has surpassed the 11 million sales mark in the U.S., according to Nielsen Soundscan. The set, released in 2011 on XL/Columbia Records, is only the 12th album to sell at least that many copies since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991.

21 sold another 4,000 in the week ending Oct. 5, bringing its cumulative sum to just over 11 million after 189 weeks in release. (It has sold 157,000 to date in 2014 alone.) The album was released on Feb. 21, 2011, spent 24 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and has yet to exit the tally: It has spent all but 11 of its chart weeks in the top 100. On the latest chart, reflecting the sales week ending Oct. 5, it climbs 113-95.

Two Unreleased Songs From Adele's '21' Leak

The last album to hit 11 million faster than 21 was nearly 12 years ago, when Creed's Human Clay hit 11 million in its 165th week of release (week ending Nov. 24, 2002).

Adele is currently working on her third album, and it is not due until at least next year, according to reports. A recent financial filing by her label, XL Recordings (reported by The New York Times), states that "there will not be a further new release by Adele in 2014." Her publicist tells Billboard that "at the moment, nothing is scheduled." Earlier this year, Adele tweeted a cryptic note, leading some to think that a new album might materialize by the end of this year.

21 finished both 2011 and 2012 as the top-selling album of the year and was Billboard's year-end top Billboard 200 album for both years. (It was the first time an album had achieved that distinction since Michael Jackson's Thriller in 1983 and 1984.) 21 generated five hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including three No. 1s: "Rolling in the Deep," "Set Fire to the Rain" and "Someone Like You."

21 is the 12th largest-selling album of the SoundScan era, and the fifth-biggest by a woman. The top seller in that 1991-present span is Metallica's self-titled 1991 album, with 16.04 million, followed by Shania Twain's Come On Over (15.58 million), Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill (14.95 million), the Beatles' 1 (12.41 million), Backstreet Boys' Millennium (12.25 million), the Whitney Houston-led The Bodyguard soundtrack (12.14 million), Santana's Supernatural (11.85 million), Creed's Human Clay (11.69 million), Marley's Legend (11.66 million), 'N Sync's No Strings Attached (11.16 million), Norah Jones' Come Away With Me (11.02 million) and Adele's 21 (11 million).