Adele's '21' Hits 21st Week at No. 1; Sells 730,000 Post-Grammys

Weekly Chart Notes: Thumbs Up For Adele's Movie Move

Weekly Chart Notes: Thumbs Up For Adele's Movie Move

Adele's "21" album hits a number of major milestones this week on the Billboard 200 chart, as it basks in the glow of the British diva's multiple Grammy Award wins on Feb. 12.

The album sold 730,000 copies in the U.S. last week (ending Feb. 19) according to Nielsen SoundScan -- up a whopping 207%. It spends a 21st week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

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It is the biggest sales week for any album since Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" debuted at No. 1 with 964,000 on the chart dated Sept. 17, 2011. 730,000 is also the largest week for "21," as its previous-best week came over the Christmas holiday, when it shifted 399,000.

More impressively, the last time a non-debuting album sold more than "21" did this past week was on the chart dated Jan. 5, 2008. That was when Josh Groban's "Noel" album moved 757,000 copies over the busy Christmas week of 2007.

Among all albums, since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991, "21" has the second-largest sales week for an album outside of the Christmas shopping season and its first month of release. Only the "Titanic" soundtrack moved more (with those qualifiers) on the chart dated Feb. 28, 1998, when it sold 848,000 at No. 1 -- two months after its debut. (It had a huge gain that week on the chart -- it was up by 44% -- thanks to the Valentine's Day holiday.)

"21" is No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart for a 21st nonconsecutive week, marking the longest-running No. 1 album in the SoundScan era. It surpasses "The Bodyguard" soundtrack (20 weeks at No. 1 in 1992-1993) for the most chart-topping frames since the Billboard 200 began using SoundScan data in 1991.

"21" -- Adele's second album -- also becomes the longest-running No. 1 album by a woman in history, surpassing the Whitney Houston-led "Bodyguard" album.

Next up in "21's" sights is M.C. Hammer's "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em," which also banked 21 weeks at No. 1 back in 1990.

Here are the albums with the most weeks at No. 1 in the nearly-56 year history of the Billboard 200 chart:

Weeks at No. 1, Title, Artist, Peak Year

54, "West Side Story" soundtrack, 1962**

37, "Thriller," Michael Jackson, 1983

31, "Rumours," Fleetwood Mac, 1977

31, "South Pacific" soundtrack, 1958

31, "Calypso," Harry Belafonte, 1956 24, "Purple Rain," Prince and the Revolution/Soundtrack, 1984

24, "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack, 1978

21, "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em," M.C. Hammer, 1990

21, "21," Adele, 2011

** (The figure of 54 weeks at No. 1 combines the set's time atop separate stereo and mono LP charts before the Billboard 200 became a singular ranking the week of Aug. 17, 1963.)

"21" also turns one-year old on the Billboard 200 as it claims its 52nd week on the list. The album has never left the top 10 in its entire chart run, dipping only as low as No. 7 on Dec. 10, 2011.

Adele is not only No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, but she's also No. 4 with her debut set, "19" (87,000; up 144%). It's the album's best sales week and highest position. Combined, "21" and "19" moved 817,000 copies last week.

This is the first time an act has two concurrent albums in the top four of the chart since Oct. 9, 2004, when Nelly's concurrently-released "Suit" and "Sweat" were Nos. 2 and 4 in their second week on the chart.

The last time an act snared two albums in the top five -- that weren't released at the same time -- was on April 4, 1992. That was when Garth Brooks' "Ropin' the Wind" was No. 2 and "No Fences" was No. 4.

It should be noted that while Billboard 200 has allowed catalog (older) albums to chart since the end of 2009 (thus why we see "19" in the top four), that wasn't always the case. On the now-defunct Top Comprehensive Albums chart (which ranked both new and old albums), Michael Jackson posthumously notched three out of the top four during seven nonconsecutive weeks in 2009.

Finally, "21's" so-far three singles moved an incredible number of downloads last week -- a combined total of 709,000. "Rolling in the Deep" shifted 271,000 (up 115%), "Set Fire to the Rain" did 254,000 (up 36%) and "Someone Like You" sold 183,000 (up 44%).

Adele by the Numbers:

6 - Grammy Awards won by Adele on Feb. 12. Her total Grammy count now stands at eight, as she earned two trophies at the 2009 ceremony.

730,000 - Number of copies "21" sold in the U.S. last week (ending Feb. 19) according to Nielsen SoundScan.

207% - The sales gain "21" earned in the week after the Feb. 12 Grammy Awards.

7,353,000 - Total number of copies "21" has sold in the U.S.

2.34% - Percentage of the U.S. population that owns "21" (based on the U.S. Census Bureau's current population estimate of 313,059,000; and if each "21" owner only has one copy).

21 - Number of weeks "21" has spent at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

9 - Number of albums that have spent 21 weeks or more at No. 1 in history.

52 - Weeks that "21" has been in release. Also the total number of weeks the album has been in the top 10 of the Billboard 200.

Oct. 2, 2004 - With Adele's "21" and "19" in the top four concurrently, it's the first time an act has had a pair of albums in the top four since Nelly on Oct. 2, 2004.

3 - "21" has spawned three singles thus far, and all of hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart: "Rolling in the Deep," "Someone Like You" and "Set Fire to the Rain."

709,000 - Downloads sold last week of those three singles: "Rolling in the Deep" shifted 271,000 (up 115%), "Set Fire to the Rain" did 254,000 (up 36%) and "Someone Like You" sold 183,000 (up 44%).