Adele is starting to make this look a little too easy. And also, who out there doesn’t own 21 already? After all, they’ve had a full year to get their act together.
In the same week that she celebrates 52 weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart, all of them spent in the top 10, the singer set yet another high-water mark when she notched the biggest sales week yet following her Grammy Awards comeback . In the wake of her six-for-six night at the awards show, Adele rolled up her biggest sales week to date, moving 730,000 copies, more than doubling her previous high mark of 399,000 for the week ending December 25, 2011, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
The last album to sell more copies in a single week before Adele’s big jump was Lil Wayne, whose Tha Carter IV moved 964,000 in August 2011. To put her giant leap into perspective, in her 52nd week on the charts, Adele moved the third-highest amount of product of any artist in the past year, surpassed only by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way (1.1 million) and Weezy, and coming in ahead of highly anticipated chart bows by Drake (631,000), Coldplay (447,000), Jay-Z and Kanye West (436,000), Lady Antebellum (347,000), Beyoncé (310,000), Britney Spears (276,000) and Chris Brown (270,000).
Among the other records Adele set with her massive week:
» The biggest weekly sales increase following a Grammy win in the, um, 21-year history of SoundScan. With her 207 percent bump, Adele beat the previous record holder, Norah Jones, who sold 621,000 (a 331 percent increase) following her five Grammy wins in 2003 for Come Away With Me.
» With her massive sales hike, Adele became the first artist to go double-platinum on iTunes.
» With 21 non-consecutive weeks at #1, Adele now holds the record for the longest #1 album by a woman in Billboard history, beating the record formerly held by the late Whitney Houston’s soundtrack to “The Bodyguard.”
And it wasn’t just 21 that got the Grammy love. Adele’s debut, 19, zoomed up five spots to #4 thanks to a 144 percent sales increase, with 87,000 copies sold, setting another one-week sales best by eclipsing its previous high of 71,000 units shifted for the week ending December 25, 2011.
In the first full chart week after her death, Houston’s only greatest-hits collection , Whitney: The Greatest Hits, saw a sales increase of 174 percent, shifting 175,000 copies to move up four spots to #2.
The rest of the top 10: Now 41 (#3, 94,000), 2012 Grammy Nominees (#5, 85,000), Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth (#6, down 69 percent in its second week on sales of 58,000) and Paul McCartney’s Kisses on the Bottom (#7, 58,000).
A number of acts also got a significant Grammy boost, including performer Bruno Mars, whose Doo-Wops & Hooligans rose 133 percent on sales of 38,000, bumping it up 22 spots to #8; Lady Antebellum, whose Own the Night was up eight to #9 (37,000, up 47 percent); and the Civil Wars, who rocketed up 31 spots to #10 with Barton Hollow (36,000, up 178 percent).
Coldplay got a more modest boost from their performance, as Mylo Xyloto inched up three spots to #11 on a 26 percent sales increase to 35,000, while Grammy winners Foo Fighters were up 134 percent and 28 spots to #21 with Wasting Light (23,000).
Further down the line, two other Houston albums, her self-titled debut and the soundtrack to “The Bodyguard,” both sold more than 17,000 copies, seeing respective sales increases of 113 and 123 percent.
Over on the iTunes charts, Grammy performer Katy Perry topped the singles tally with her new single, “Part of Me,” followed by Houston’s iconic cover of “I Will Always Love You,” Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and “Set Fire to the Rain” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).”
Coming in at #6 were buzz band fun. with “We Are Young,” Nicki Minaj with “Starships,” Brown’s “Turn up the Music,” Adele’s “Someone Like You” and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.”
21 was at #1 on the iTunes albums chart, followed by Houston’s greatest-hits comp, the Civil Wars’ Barton Hollow, Adele’s 19, Coldplay, the Grammy compilation, Mars, Clarkson’s Stronger, the Fray’s Scars & Stories and Grammy winner Bon Iver’s self-titled album.
With Houston’s chart record in the rearview, next up for Adele is the 24-week #1 reigns of the “Saturday Night Fever” and “Purple Rain” soundtracks. She should be safe for another week, as the only competition coming up in the next chart frame is from Sleigh Bells, Tyga and fun.