Unless you just woke up from a coma after taking an interstellar trip on the Prometheus spaceship you probably noticed that Adele has been killing it on the charts this year. In fact, at the mid-way point of 2012, according to Nielsen SoundScan the singer’s unstoppable 21 , which came out in the beginning of 2011, is the best seller of 2012 so far.
Through the sales week ending on July 1, Nielsen SoundScan reports that the disc has sold 3.69 million copies, making it the only disc this year that has sold more than one million. Wayyyy behind is the year’s surprise #2, veteran R&B singer Lionel Richie’s country duets album Tuskegee (912,000), followed closely by One Direction’s Up All Night (899,000), a greatest hits collection from the late Whitney Houston (818,000) and the NOW 41 hits compilation (714,000).
Rounding out the top 10: Carrie Underwood, Blown Away (602,000), Luke Bryan, Tailgates & Tanlines (575,000), Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (557,000), Drake, Take Care (549,000) and Adele’s debut, 19 (539,000). Other notable albums in the top 20 include: Justin Bieber, Believe (#12, 490,000), Madonna’s MDNA (#13, 484,000), Black Keys, El Camino (#16, 424,000) and Rihanna’s Talk That Talk (#17, 424,000).
When it comes to download song sales, it was all about Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” With more than 5.5 million in sales, it is one of two songs to move that many units this year, with Fun.’s “We Are Young” hot on its heels at 5.09 million. Both songs are record-breakers, since, according to Billboard no song has ever sold five million copies in the first six months of a calendar year.
With no end in sight to “Somebody”’s sales, it could become the first tune to sell six million downloads in a year. The third best selling download of 2012 so far is another inescapable tune, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” (4.06 million) then Kelly Clarkson’s record-setting “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” (3.32 million), Minaj’s “Starships” (3.16 million) and Maroon 5’s “Payphone” (3.08 million).
Rounding out the top10 are The Wanted with “Glad You Came” (2.9 million), One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” (2.9 million), Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” (2.8 million) and Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” (2.6 million). Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” just missed the top 10 (#11, 2.5 million), edging LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” (#12, 2.1 million), Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” (#14, 2 million), Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa’s “Young, Wild & Free” (#15, 2 million), Drake’s “The Motto” (#18, 1.8 million) and Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” (#20, 1.7 million).
It should surprise no one that digi-phobe Jack White topped the vinyl album sales with his solo debut, Blunderbuss (18,000), with the Key’s El Camino just behind (17,600) and perennial album fetish object the Beatles’ Abbey Road at #3 (15,700).
Overall music sales, which includes album and tracks, are up four percent over the same period last year with overall album sales pretty much flat. CD sales continue to account for the bulk of albums moved at 61 percent, though that’s down 5 percent from 2011, as digital album sales were up 14 percent, putting them on a pace to set new sales records by year’s end.