Week Ending Jan. 1, 2012. Albums: She’s Back
Adele's 21 returns to #1 on The Billboard 200 for first time since October. This is the album's 14th week on top, which is the longest run at #1 for any album since the Titanic soundtrack spent 16 weeks at #1 in 1998. It's the longest run for an album by a female artist since Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard soundtrack logged 20 weeks on top in 1992-1993. It's the longest run for an album by a British artist since the Police's Synchronicity was #1 for 17 weeks in 1983.
21 is in its 45th week on the chart. It's the first album to appear at #1 this deep into its chart run since Norah Jones' Come Away With Me was #1 in its 53rd week in March 2003. That album returned to #1 after it won the Grammy for Album of the Year. 21 is certain to win that award when this year's Grammys are presented on Feb. 12.
Shameless Plug: This is the final week of the 2011 tracking year. (Six of the seven days were in 2011, so it tips into that year.) 21 sold 5,824,000 copies during the year, which is the most for any album in a calendar year since 2004, when Usher's Confessions sold 7,979,000 copies. It's the most for an album by a female artist in a calendar year since Britney Spears' Oops!...I Did It Again sold 7,894,000 copies in 2000. And it's the most for an album by an act from the U.K. in a calendar year in Nielsen SoundScan history. The old record for an album by a British artist was held by Spice Girls, whose debut album Spice sold 5,302,000 copies in 1997. The Beatles are in third place. Their hits collection 1 sold 5,068,000 copies in 2000.
As you have probably surmised, I updated my 2011 album recap, which we posted a few ago (to beat the rush). If you missed it, or want to see the final rankings and tallies, here's a link.
Adele's album sold 11,000 more copies than the year's #1 song, "Rolling In The Deep." This marks the first time since 2007 that the year's #1 album has outsold the year's #1 song. That's a noteworthy achievement, because album sales have sagged in recent years, while song sales have soared.
Adele's DVD Live At The Royal Albert Hall sold 30,000 copies in its fifth week. This brings its five week sales total to 451,000. That's the greatest tally by a music video in a calendar year since 2009, when Michael Jackson's Number Ones sold 558K copies.