How big is that? It’s the biggest sales week since Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV” debuted with 964,000 sales last summer, and the largest tally for an album outside of its debut frame since 2008, when Josh Groban sold 757,000 copies of his Christmas record during the holiday period. Furthermore, it nearly doubles “21′s” previous biggest sales week, when it sold 399,000 copies over the holidays. Didn’t anyone bother to tell Adele that nobody buys music anymore?
With its 21st week at No. 1, “21″ overtakes Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” soundtrack as the album with the longest reign at No. 1 in the SoundScan era, which dates back to 1991. Six albums in Billboard chart history have spent more than 21 weeks at No. 1, a list topped by the soundtrack to “West Side Story,” which spent 54 weeks at No. 1. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” at 37 weeks, is No. 2.
“21′s” sales tally rises to 7.3 million, and now that everyone finally has the album, perhaps it will entirely fall off the Billboard 200 next week. But that’s not very likely. (People must keep breaking their CDs or getting tears all over them, creating the need for replacement copies.)
That’s not all for Adele: Her debut album “19″ also lands at No. 4 on this week’s chart, selling 87,000 copies. At this point, demos of her practicing for her seventh grade talent contest could probably land a Top 5 debut. Can anyone stop Adele?
Whitney Houston’s “Whitney: The Greatest Hits” lands at No. 2, selling 175,000 copies on this week’s chart. A pair of compilation albums, “Now 41″ and the 2012 Grammy Nominees set, round out the top 5. Meanwhile, a handful of Grammy nominees, winners and performers see sales boosts and re-enter the top 10.
Billboard’s Top 10 albums (sales in parentheses, figures according to Nielsen SoundScan)
1. Adele, 21 (730,000)
2. Whitney Houston, Whitney: The Greatest Hits (175,000)
3. Various artists, Now That’s What I Call Music Vol. 41 (94,000)
4. Adele, 19 (87,000)
5. Various artists, 2012 Grammy Nominees (85,000)
6. Van Halen, A Different Kind of Truth (58,000)
7. Paul McCartney, Kisses on the Bottom (58,000)
8. Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops and Hooligans (38,000)
9. Lady Antebellum, Own the Night (37,000)
10. The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow (36,000)