Adele Leads 2011 Top Sellers

According to data released by music sales tracking service Nielsen SoundScan, Adele’s album 21 and her single from the album Rolling in the Deep were the number one sellers in the United States for 2011. The album reportedly sold 5.82 million copies, with the single hitting 5.81 million downloads. As the singer-songwriter’s second album, 21 is the biggest selling album since Usher’s album Confessions sold 7.98 million in 2004. Judging by the initial sales of 21 when it was released in March 2011, it was no surprise to fans that Adele’s album took top honors. The album sold 352,000 copies in its first week and has remained in the Billboard 200 chart’s top 10 for 44 weeks and counting.

In second place for 2011 was Michael Bublé’s album, Christmas with sales of 2.45 million. Lady Gaga was 2011’s third biggest seller, with Born This Way selling 2.1 million. LilWayne took the number 4 spot with sales of 1.92 million for Tha Carter IV. The other six top ten sellers, in order, were Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party; Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More; Drake’s Take Care; Justin Bieber’s Under the Mistletoe; Jay-Z & Kanye West’s Watch the Throne; and Lady Antebellum’s Own the Night.

Interestingly, in this fast-paced digital world, 2011 was the fourth year in a row that vinyl album sales have increased, with 3.9 million in sales compared with 2.8 million in 2010. Statistics reveal that of every four vinyl LPs sold, three were rock albums, with 67 percent of all vinyl album purchases being made at independent music stores.

Created by Mike Shallett and Mike Fine, Nielsen SoundScan is the official tracker of music sales for the United States and Canada. Subscribers to the service include record company executives, music retailers, publishing firms, artists, booking agents, concert promoters and other music industry players. Information collected from around 14,000 outlets in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom is made available to subscribers on a weekly basis. Billboard makes use of SoundScan data to publish their renowned weekly music charts detailing current music trends for the public.