Adele and Gotye Rule The Charts In The First Half of 2012

By Meredith Goldberg-Morse

As the first half of 2012 comes to a close (take a moment to let that sink in), Adele’s 21 and Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” reign supreme as the biggest selling album and digital song in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan (via Billboard). This should come as no surprise, given the ongoing ubiquity of Adele’s soul-baring album and Gotye’s can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head refrain.

This marks the second time 21 has topped the charts in the first half of the year—and at this rate, it could be the only full-year top-seller two-peat in SoundScan history. If Adele’s chart-busting pattern continues, her baby could be born into an untouchable musical monarchy. Lucky kid.

While no album can touch the success of 21 check out the ones that came closest:

2. Lionel Richie, “Tuskegee”
With 912,000 albums sold, Lionel Richie’s Tuskegee was his first #1 on the Billboard 200 since his 1986 hit Dancing on the Ceiling.

3. One Direction, Up All Night
The British boy band is first U.K. group to hit # 1 with a debut album, selling 899,000 records in the first half of 2012.

4. Whitney Houston, Whitney: The Greatest Hits
The diva posthumously spent three weeks at # 2 on the charts after her death on February 11, selling 818,000 records.

5. Various Artists, Now 41
Yes, they’re still making these. And apparently 714,000 people purchased one this year.

Following Gotye as the top-selling download song so far:

2. fun., “We Are Young” (featuring Janelle Monae)
This musical celebration of youth is the only other song to surpass 5 million purchases this year, with 5.09 million.

3. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”
The song that spawned a million and one YouTube parodies is in its fourth week at # 1 on the Hot 100 and clocks in with 4.06 million in sales at the mid-year mark.

4. Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
Clarkson’s motivational tune is still going strong with 3.32 million sales in the first half of the year and is the top-selling song ever for an “American Idol” alum.

5. Nicki Minaj, “Starships”
Nicki rounds out the top five (and monopolizes our radios) with 3.16 year to date sales.

Do you think any albums from this year will be able to stop Adele’s “21” from becoming the first two-year top-seller in history? Let us know in the comments below!