As reported yesterday, Adele‘s sophomore album “21” marks multiple new milestones on the Billboard 200. Most notably, “21” registered its best sales week (730,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan), following her six wins at the 54th Grammy Awards on Feb. 12.
The set also logs a 21st week at No. 1 on the survey, pushing it past Whitney Houston‘s soundtrack to “The Bodyguard” (1992-93) for the longest command for an album by a woman in the chart’s 56-year history.
A HOT 100 TRIPLE THREAT
No. 5: “Rolling in the Deep”
No. 7: “Someone Like You”
Next Up: “Rumour Has It”…
Add in Adele’s action on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart this week, however, and there’s even more history to add to her quickly building legend.
Adele’s three former Hot 100 No. 1s bulleted into the Hot 100’s top 10: “Set Fire to the Rain” holds at No. 2; “Rolling in the Deep,” the record and song of the year, which Adele performed at the Grammys, charges back 17-5 (in its 59th chart week); and, “Someone Like You” jumps 11-7.
With those advances, Adele is the first woman in the Hot 100’s 53-year archives to place three songs in the top 10 concurrently as a lead artist.
Previously, only four other acts — two men and two all-male groups — charted three (or more) songs in the top 10 simultaneously as lead acts: Chris Brown (2008), Usher (2004), the Bee Gees (1978) and the Beatles, who boasted a record five titles in the top 10 the weeks of April 4 and 11, 1964, including the entire top five the first of those two frames.
Looking further, this week Adele charts two songs in the Hot 100’s top five — “Fire” (No. 2) and “Deep” (No. 5) — and two albums in the Billboard 200’s top five: “21” (No. 1) and her debut set “19,” which reaches a new peak (No. 4) in its 122nd chart week.
How common is the feat of tallying two titles simultaneously in both charts’ top fives? Since the Billboard 200 became an all-encompassing (stereo and mono) chart the week of Aug. 17, 1963, just three acts have earned the honor: Adele, the Beatles and 50 Cent.
For an astonishing 13 weeks in 1964, the Beatles achieved such domination, with at least two titles in each chart’s top five at the same time. Most notably, the week that the Beatles monopolized the Hot 100’s top five (April 4, 1964), the group also held the top two positions on the Billboard 200, where “Meet the Beatles!” reigned and “Introducing … the Beatles” ranked at No. 2.
Beatlemania, meet Adele adulation. In between, there was a 50 Cent frenzy.
The week of May 3, 2003, 50 Cent topped the Hot 100 with “In Da Club” and held at No. 5 with “21 Questions.” (There must be something about that number, 21, when it comes to chart records). The rapper was also money on the Billboard 200 that week: his “The New Breed” bowed at No. 3 and his “Get Rich or Die Tryin’ ” remained in the top five (3-5).
As 50 Cent did not have another song in the Hot 100’s top 10 that week, Adele and the Beatles are the only acts ever to post three songs in the Hot 100’s top 10 and two albums in the Billboard 200’s top five in the same week.
Yet more evidence that Adele’s current domination ranks among the rarest in Billboard chart history.