Adele’s ‘25’ by the Numbers

AdeleThe common belief in the entertainment industry has been that record sales are dead. But, Adele showed everyone that sales are alive and well if the public wants the product. The British singer, known for smash break-up hits like Rolling in the Deep and the Oscar-winning Skyfall theme song, took time off from the music scene because, as she explained, “life happened.” In the past week, Adele came blazing back with a red-hot new album 25 that has shattered records and had jaws dropping throughout the industry on both sides of the Atlantic. Here is a look at the impact Adele’s 25 had, judging by the numbers she has posted:

  • 2: Adele had the best selling album in both 2011 and 2012 with 21. It is the only album to be the top-seller for two consecutive years. Considering that 25 is already the top selling album on 2015 and it is late in the year, odds are she will have the best-selling album of 2016 too. That would make two times she has topped the lists two years in a row.
  • 4: It has been four weeks since the album’s first single, Hello, was dropped on Oct. 23 to a largely unsuspecting public and shot immediately to number 1 on the Billboard and other singles’ charts. It it still number one. The story is the same with the video too.
  • 15: The previous record for more album sales in one week was 15 years old. The sales record was held by *NSYNC, which sold more than 2.4 million copies of No Strings Attached (the album that featured Bye Bye Bye) the first week it was out back in 2000. Adele’s 25 sold more than that in four days, shattering the 15-year-old mark.
  • 20: Only 20 albums, including Adele’s new one, sold more than 1 million copies in a week’s time. Only 25 and No Strings Attached sold more than 2 million in a seven-day period.
  • 800,000: The album, 25, sold more than 800,000 copies in the U.K. alone last week. The previous record was set by Oasis’ Be Here Now, which sold 696,000 copies in the week it was released back in 1997. The album sold more copies last week in England than the sales generated by the numbers 2 though 87 in sales combined.
  • 1 million: The single, Hello, became the first track to sell more than 1 million downloads in a week. That is nearly twice the previous download record of 636,000, set by Flo Rida’s Right Round.
  • 1.8 million: Taylor Swift’s 1989 album had been the best-selling one for more than 45 weeks, having sold 1.8 million copies in 2015. (It was issued in 2014 and sold more than 3 million copies that year.)
  • 2.4 million: In the first four days, 25 sold more than 2.4 million copies, which was the record held *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached since 2000.
  • 3.38 million: The record-setting 3.38 million copies sold in the U.S. during the first week since 25 shattered all records. It is the first album to sell over 3 million copies in a week.
  • 11 million: While the 3.38 million sold in the first week, 25 has a long way to go in sales to surpass the numbers amassed by Adele’s last album. Since its release in 2011, 21 has sold more than 11 million copies.

Written and edited by Dyanne Weiss

Forbes: Why Adele Is Selling Records Like It’s 1999
New York Times: Adele’s ‘25’ Sells Record-Shattering 3.38 Million Copies
Rolling Stone: Adele’s ’25’ Sells Over Three Million Copies in First Week

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