Week Ending Aug. 26, 2012. Albums: Adele Finally Exits Top 10
This week, for the first time since it was released in February 2011, Adele's 21 does not rank among the top 10 albums on The Billboard 200. It drops from #8 to #12, ending (at least for now) a 78-week run in the top 10. 21 is one of only five albums to log 78 or more weeks in the top 10 since 1963, when Billboard merged its separate stereo and mono charts into one comprehensive listing. The others are The Sound Of Music soundtrack (109 weeks), Bruce Springsteen's Born In The U.S.A. (84 weeks), Michael Jackson's Thriller (78 weeks) and Def Leppard's Hysteria (78 weeks).
Much has happened in the pop world since 21 was released. Amy Winehouse (whose success paved the way for Adele) died, as did Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Robin Gibb and Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys. Justin Bieber and Chris Brown both released two #1 albums. One Direction and 2Chainz debuted. Lionel Richie made an improbable comeback. Katy Perry tied Michael Jackson's record for most #1 hits from one album. American Idol crowned two more winners, Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips. The Voice debuted and stole some of Idol's thunder. Maroon 5 got its second wind.
21 has sold 9,736,000 copies in the U.S., which makes it the 22nd best-selling album since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard. Among albums released in the past 10 years, it's second only to Usher's Confessions (10,108,000). The four official singles from 21, "Rolling In The Deep," "Someone Like You," "Set Fire To The Rain" and "Rumour Has It," have sold a combined total of 18,593,000 copies. Adele's music video, Live At The Royal Albert Hall, has sold 955K copies.
Adele and Julie Andrews, the star of the aforementioned The Sound Of Music, have a fair amount in common. Both women were born in England. Both achieved tremendous success at a young age. Adele was 22 in February 2011 when 21 became her first #1 album. Andrews was just 20 in July 1956 when the Broadway cast album to My Fair Lady became her first #1 album. In 2000, Andrews was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Will Adele one day follow suit? Time will tell, but she's off to a good start.
I'm not sure how Trey Songz is going to react to this week's chart news. His new album, Chapter V, enters The Billboard 200 at #1, becoming his first #1 album. The hitch? The album sold 135K copies, a substantial drop from the 240K opening of his last album, Passion, Pain & Pleasure in September 2010. That album missed out on the #1 spot by just a hair over 1,000 copies (Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns edged it out). This time around, it wasn't even close: Chapter V sold nearly three times as many copies as this week's #2 album.
Songz' sales tally includes 51K digital copies, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums.