Adele’s “Hello” has something in common with Lionel Richie’s “Hello” and Tom Rundgren’s “Hello It’s Me.” (Digital Trends)
Adele is picking up right where she left off—smashing sales records. The English singer’s new single, “Hello,” sold 1.1 million copies in the U.S. its first week, which sets a new record for the biggest one-week sales tally in digital history. The old record was held by Flo Rida’s “Right Round,” which sold 636K downloads in is first week in February 2009.
To find the last song that got off to such a fast start, you have to go back to the pre-digital era. Elton John’s “Candle In The Wind 1997” sold 3.4 million copies in its first week in September 1997. (Of course that was a very special case. The song, a tribute to Princess Diana, was released just two weeks after her shocking death. Proceeds went to her charities.)
Here are seven other records that “Hello” has just set.
1. “Hello” squashed the old record for the biggest one-week sales by a female artist in the U.S. That was held by Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” which sold 623K copies in its first week in August 2012. As with “Hello,” which is the first single from Adele’s upcoming third album, 25, “We Are Never Ever…” was the first single from Swift’s fourth album, Red.
2. “Hello” sold more than twice as many copies in the U.S. as any other song has in a single week in 2015. The old record was held by “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth, which sold 464K copies in its peak week in April.
3. “Hello” sold more than four times as many copies in the U.S. in its first week as Adele’s 2012 hit, “Skyfall.” That ballad, which brought Adele both an Oscar and a Grammy, started with sales of 261K copies. “Skyfall” took 11 weeks to sell as many copies as “Hello” did in its first week alone. (That was rightly seen as a side project, rather than the official start of Adele’s return to music.)
4. “Hello” debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 (which combines digital sales, radio airplay and streaming data). Adele is only the second English artist ever to enter that flagship chart at No. 1, following Elton John, who achieved the feat with the aforementioned “Candle In The Wind 1997.” It’s Adele’s fourth No. 1, following “Rolling In the Deep,” “Someone Like You” and “Set Fire to the Rain.”
5. “Hello” got a record-smashing 27 million Vevo views in its first 24 hours. The old record was held by Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar, whose “Bad Blood” clip notched 20.1 million views on May 17.
6. “Hello” set a new single-day U.S. streaming record, with 2.3 million streams. The previous record-holder was One Direction’s “Drag Me Down,” which racked up 1.8 million U.S. streams in its first day.
7. “Hello” entered The Official U.K. Singles Chart at No. 1. It’s Adele’s second song to reach No. 1 in her home country. The first was “Someone Like You.” “Hello” moved 333K “equivalent units” in the U.K. (a figure that combines 259K downloads and 7.32 million streams). The Official UK Charts Company reports that this is the biggest weekly total for a “regular” No. 1 hit since Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” sold 345K copies in one week back in 2001. (This excludes major charity campaign singles, No. 1 hits during Christmas week and initial singles by winners of TV’s X Factor and Pop Idol.)
Just as Adele’s last album, 21 (which has sold a staggering 11.2 million copies in the U.S.) defied downward sales trends on albums, “Hello” is defying downward sales on digital songs. In the seven previous weeks, no song achieved weekly sales of even 200K copies in the U.S. In the last week of August, no song sold even 100K in the U.S.—the first time that had been true since January 2007.
Trivia notes: “Hello” shares its title with a Lionel Richie song from 1984. Richie’s “Hello,” like Adele’s, reached No. 1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. Adele’s song shares its opening line (“Hello, it’s me”) with an old Todd Rundgren song. Rundgren’s “Hello It’s Me” was a top five hit in December 1973. (Both the Richie and Rundgren songs were before Adele’s time. She wasn’t born until 1988.)