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It's Official: Adele's 21 Is Best-Selling Album Since 2004

Yesterday, it was reported that album sales in the U.S. were up one percent last year, with Adele's 21 easily the best-selling record of 2011. Now Nielsen/SoundScan has confirmed that21 not only finished 2011 with 5.82 million copies sold, but was the best selling album since 2004, when Usher's hit recordConfessions sold 7.98 million copies. Adele also had the top selling single of 2011, as her smash "Rolling In The Deep" sold 5.81 million digital downloads.


According to and SoundScan, Michael Buble'sChristmas was the second-best selling record of 2011, with 2.45 million. Born This Way from Lady Gaga was the third biggest album of last year, with 2.1 million copies, followed byLil Wayne's Tha Carter IV with 1.92 million and Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party with 1.58 million.

SoundScan also confirmed Reuters' report that album sales were up by one percent in 2011 to 330.57 million units from 326.15 million in 2010. CD sales fell by six percent but digital album sales grew 20 percent to set a new record of 103.1 million. 21 was of course the best selling digital album of the year, with 1.8 million sold.

Vinyl album sales grew once again in 2011, to 3.9 million copies, up from 2.8 million in 2010. Also, 67 percent of all vinyl records were sold in independent music stores, while roughly three out of every four vinyl records were Rock albums.

Sales of digital singles grew by 10 percent last year to a new record of 1.27 billion. Not only was "Rolling In The Deep" the top selling digital single of 2011, it was also the best selling digital single of any year since SoundScan started keeping digital download records. Last year was the first time any single sold five million downloads, a record that was broken by both Adele and LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" (which sold 5.47 million downloads). Katy Perry's "E.T." was the third biggest single of 2011, with 4.83 million digital downloads.

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