Ten years ago, Adele released her sophomore album in the United States, and proceeded to take over the pop world.
With 21, Adele’s follow-up to her 2008 debut 19, the British artist transformed from an acclaimed singer-songwriter with a best new artist Grammy win into a record-smashing superstar with multiple No. 1 hits. Released on Feb. 22, 2011 in the United States (after being released on Jan. 24 in her native U.K.), 21 represented an enormous critical and commercial hit for Adele, who channeled the heartbreak of her 21st year into 11 songs of soulful pop, including the No. 1 hits “Rolling In The Deep” and “Someone Like You.”
One decade removed from its release, the numbers that capture 21’s success remain staggering. Here are 10 of the figures that showcase the cultural juggernaut of Adele’s second album following its U.S. release:
16.21 million: The equivalent album units in the U.S. that 21 has earned through Feb. 18, according to MRC Data. Of that sum, 12.08 million are in album sales.
2.63 billion: The number of U.S. on-demand streams that the album’s 11 songs have earned to date. Yup, that’s “billion” with a B!
26.16 million: The number of U.S. downloads sold of 21’s songs.
4.05 million: The number of plays that 21’s songs have earned to date on U.S. radio.
2: The number of years, 2011 and 2012, in which 21 was the top-selling album in the United States. The album was also the year-end No. 1 Billboard 200 album in both years — making it the first album since Michael Jackson’s Thriller in 1983-84 to finish as the No. 1 album on the year-end chart in consecutive years.
3: The number of Hot 100 No. 1 singles on the album: “Rolling In The Deep,” “Someone Like You” and “Set Fire To The Rain.” (“Rumour Has It,” the album’s fourth U.S. single, peaked at No. 16.)
14: Total number of weeks that those songs sat atop the Hot 100 chart (“Rolling In the Deep” was No. 1 for seven weeks; “Someone Like You” was No. 1 for five weeks; and “Set Fire to the Rain” was No. 1 for two weeks).
6: The number of Grammy Awards that Adele won for the album in 2012: album of the year and best pop vocal album for 21; record of the year, song of the year and best short form music video for “Rolling in the Deep”; and best pop solo performance for “Someone Like You.” In addition, Paul Epworth, who produced “Rolling in the Deep,” won the producer of the year, non-classical trophy. Adele won in every category in which she was nominated in 2012.
24: The number of weeks that 21 has spent at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It’s tied for the sixth-most weeks at No. 1 among all albums, and also has the most weeks at No. 1 among albums by women. Only the West Side Story soundtrack (54 weeks at No. 1), Michael Jackson’s Thriller (37 weeks), Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (31 weeks), the South Pacific soundtrack (31 weeks) and Harry Belafonte’s Calypso (31 weeks) have spent more weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, which began publishing on a regular weekly basis in 1956. Adele’s 21 is tied with Prince and the Revolution’s Purple Rain and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack with 24 weeks in the top spot.
1: The number of albums released this century that have spent 20 or more weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart — it’s only Adele’s 21. Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard soundtrack was the last album to do so prior to 21, spending 20 weeks at No. 1 upon its 1992 release.