Monday, January 7, 2013

Adele’s ‘21’ Best-Selling Album for Second Year

The British singer’s “21” was the highest-selling album in the U.S. for the second consecutive year, according to 2012 sales figures released by Nielsen SoundScan. That’s a first in the SoundScan era, which began tracking music sales in 1991.

According to figures released Thursday, Adele's "21" sold 4.4 million copies in the United States last year, after selling 5.8 million in 2011. The second-biggest album of 2012 was Taylor Swift’s “Red," with 3.1 million sales. One Direction's breakthrough debut album "Up All Night" is 2012's third-biggest set with 1.62 million sold.

For the first time since 2008, no Christmas albums rank among the year's top 10 sellers. 2012's biggest holiday set was Rod Stewart's "Merry Christmas, Baby," which finishes at No. 15 with 858,000 sold.

Gotye scored the year’s top-selling song with “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring Kimbra. The song was downloaded a record 6.8 million times. Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” was next at 6.5 million. Both songs are the first to cross the 6 million digital sales mark, while fun. came close with 5.9 million downloads of  “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae.

Forty-one songs crossed the 2 million download mark, helping drive digital and overall sales to a new high even as album sales began to drop.

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