The Week in Music Sales: Adele's '21' Sells Over 350K

Adele storms in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with her sophomore album "21" selling a mighty 352,000 copies.

Adele storms in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with her sophomore album 21 selling a mighty 352,000 copies in its first week according to Nielsen SoundScan.

It's her best sales week -- and highest charting album -- and also the highest frame for any album since the sales week ending Nov. 28, 2010. That's when Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday started in the Nos. 1 and 2 slots, respectively, with 496,000 and 375,000.

Notably, 21 also bows atop the Digital Albums chart with 217,000 downloads -- 62% of the set's overall first week. Again, it's the fattest week for a digital set since West's My Beautiful moved 224,000 downloads in its premiere.

Adele, who took home the best new artist Grammy award in 2009, reached No. 10 with her debut set 19. It has spent a total of 71 weeks on the tally and has shifted 948,000 copies in the U.S. This week, it bounds 50-16 on the Billboard 200, giving the singer a pair of albums in the top 20. It's the first time an act has placed their first two releases concurrently in the top 20 since Justin Bieber did it on June 5, 2010 with My World and My World 2.0.

This week, Rolling In the Deep -- 21's first single -- vaults 13-7 on the Digital Songs chart, moving 151,000 (up 26%). To date, since its release to retailers on Nov. 30 of last year, it has sold 621,000.

Another 21 song, Someone Like You, which she has been performing to great reaction on a number of TV shows lately, bows at No. 45 with 51,000. Adele memorably sung Someone Like You on the Brit Awards on Feb. 16 and in two weeks' time, its two clips with the most views on YouTube have racked up 3.3 million views. (To compare, Rihanna also performed on the Brits, singing a medley of songs from her Loud album and its most-viewed clips have tallied 1.3 million views.)

Prior to the album's release, Adele stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Feb. 24), Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Feb. 24), CBS' Early Show (Feb. 25) and Chelsea Lately (Feb. 28). The official video for Rolling In the Deep has picked up over 16 million views on YouTube and Vevo.

Adele's 21 is basically the only exciting news on the Billboard 200 chart this week, as the next-highest debut comes in at No. 29 from Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows and its D.R.U.G.S. album (14,000).

After two weeks of sales increases from the Feb. 13 Grammy Awards, the chart gets quiet this week, where only two non-debuting titles in the top 50 had an increase in sales.
Falling one slot each to Nos. 2, 3 and 4, respectively, are Bieber's Never Say Never: the Remixes (102,000; down 38%), Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More (71,000; down 46%) and Now 37 (58,000; down 38%).

Bieber is also at No. 5 with My World 2.0 (up three, 42,000; down 22%), marking the first time an act has had two sets in the top five since Bieber himself managed it on April 10, 2010.

Bruno Mars' Doo-Wops & Hooligans (37,000; down 40%) and Eminem's Recovery (34,000; down 44%) both slip one rung to Nos. 6 and 7. Rihanna's Loud steps two spots to No. 8 (33,000; down 26%), Minaj's Pink Friday holds at No. 9 (just under 33,000; down 28%) and Lady Antebellum's Need You Now drops six spaces to No. 10 (28,000; down 67%).

Over on the Digital Songs chart, Lady Gaga's Born This Way remains perched at No. 1 for a third week, selling 286,000 downloads (down 44%). It has sold 1.24 million in less than three full weeks. Cee Lo Green's F**k You (Forget You) holds at No. 2 (252,000; down 39%) while Jennifer Lopez's On the Floor (featuring Pitbull) debuts at No. 3 (170,000). The song was held back from digital retailers for about a month following its release to YouTube and radio.

That's unusual compared to some other recent releases by other pop divas, like Lady Gaga and Britney Spears, who commercially released their singles to digital retailers at about the same time they were serviced to radio and streaming sites.

Right behind J.Lo is Katy Perry's E.T., rising eight slots to No. 4 (170,000; up 41%). Rihanna's S&M is up one to No. 5 (169,000; down 2%), Dr. Dre's I Need a Doctor falls three spots to No. 6 (156,000; down 45%) and Adele's Rolling In the Deep, as previously mentioned, rises six to No. 7 (151,000; up 26%). P!nk's F**kin' Perfect holds at No. 8 (143,000; up 1%), Bruno Mars' Grenade falls four to No. 9 (140,000; down 22%) and Ke$ha's Blow bulldozes up 13 slots to No. 10 (129,000; up 52%). The latter rises due to the buzz generated by its buzzworthy unicorn-filled new video, which co-stars James Van Der Beek.

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Feb. 27) totaled 6.5 million units, down 10% compared to the sum last week (7.2 million) and up 8% compared to the comparable sales week of 2010 (6 million). Year to date album sales stand at 46.5 million, down 9% compared to the same total at this point last year (51 million).

Digital track sales this past week totaled 26.5 million downloads, down 9% compared to last week (29 million) and up 11% stacked next to the comparable week of 2010 (23.8 million). Year to date track sales are at 215.2 million, up 6% compared to the same total at this point last year (202.4 million).

Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2010 when: Lady Antebellum's Need You Now returned to the No. 1 slot (126,000; up 6%) while Sade's Soldier of Love slipped one rung to No. 2 (79,000; down 37%).