Breaking News Bar
updated: 1/4/2013 9:28 AM

Adele's 2011 holdover '21' still tops in 2012

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Adele'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 on Thursday.

      Adele'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 on Thursday.
    Associated Press File Photo

 
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Turns out Adele ruled 2012, too -- and set a record while she was at it.

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 on Thursday. That's a first in the SoundScan era.

Adele sold 4.4 million copies of the album in 2012 after selling 5.8 million in 2011. She crossed the 10 million threshold in November and was only rivaled by Taylor Swift, whose "Red" was second on the list. If her album sales continue apace in 2013, "21" will move into the top 10 list for sales since 1993, when SoundScan began current tracking methods.

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 again after a momentary gain.

A record 1.65 billion music units -- combining physical albums, digital albums and digital songs -- were sold in 2012, fueled by an increase of 9.1 percent in total digital sales and a 14.1 percent increase in digital album sales.

Overall, however, album sales declined 4.4 percent. That continues a downward trend since 2004 that was only briefly halted by last year's 3 percent gain -- mostly due to the surprise success of "21." Only two genres showed album sales gains in 2012. Rock gained by 2 percent and country, fueled by the format's assault on the top 10, jumped 4.2 percent.

Swift led a record five country artists into the top 10, selling 3.1 million copies of "Red" in a little more than two months. Other country artists on the list included Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" at No. 7 (1.2 million) followed by Luke Bryan's "tailgates & tanlines" (1.1 million), Lionel Richie's duets album "Tuskegee" (1 million) and Jason Aldean's "Night Train" (1 million).

One Direction nearly matched Swift's sales total, but did it by placing two 2012 releases in the top 10 -- "Up All Night" placed No. 3 with 1.6 million sold and "Take Me Home" was fifth with 1.3 million.

Mumford & Son's "Babel" (1.4 million) and Justin Bieber's "Believe" (1.3 million) round out the top 10. Only 10 albums reached 1 million in sales.

Katy Perry received the most radio airplay for the second year in a row with 1.4 million spins, while Swift was the most streamed artist at 216 million streams.

Share

Interested in reusing this article?

Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.

The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.

Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *

Message (optional)

Success - Reprint request sent Click to close
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here