Next week, Adele's unstoppable 21 is set to notch a 23rd non-consecutive week at #1 on the Billboard 200 thanks to sales of 247,000, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan. As the Grammy-winning singer closes in on 8 million sold in the U.S., Adele is on the cusp of tying the high-water marks held by Prince's Purple Rain and the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack, which locked down the pole position for 24 weeks.
Nostalgic fans continue to snap up anything Whitney Houston-related, as three of the late diva's albums remained lodged in the top 10. Her greatest-hits compilation hung in at #2 (112,000), while the soundtrack to "The Bodyguard" moved up a notch to #5 (43,000) and her self-titled debut slipped a spot to #10 (25,000). Houston's final album, 2009's I Look to You, was just outside the top 10 at #13 (24,000). Four other titles also charted in the top 50.
The rest of the top 10: Now That's What I Call Music 41 (#4, 46,000); Tyga, Careless World: Rise of the Last King (#6, 37,000); Adele, 19 (#7, 37,000); Drake, Take Care (#8, 29,000); and Rihanna, Talk That Talk (#9, 25,000).
Following its re-release in a deluxe set, Pink Floyd's legendary head trip in every key, The Wall, rocketed up 173 spots and 537 percent to #17 (20,000). In the wake of the death of singer Davy Jones, Best of the Monkees climbed to #20 on sales of 17,000.
Suffering one of the week's biggest drop-offs was indie duo Sleigh Bells, whose second album, Reign of Terror, plummeted 66 spots in week two to #78 as sales dipped by 72 percent to nearly 8,000. Even with a wrist-slapping phone call from behind bars to promote his first studio album in eight years, Ja Rule barely made a dent on the charts with PIL2, which just dented the top 200 in its first week by coming in at 197 on sales of just over 3,000 copies.
We'll see if Adele can keep the streak going next week when she faces the recession-minded latest from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Wrecking Ball.