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).