One year ago today, Adele’s 21 was released in the US. Appropriately, the British singer has reached her 21st non-consecutive week in the peak position on Billboard‘s Top 200 album chart after selling a whopping 730,000 more copies of 21 following the Grammy Awards. Adele has passed Whitney Houston’s 20-week run with The Bodyguard, and she is now the female with the longest stretch of time spent at #1 on the main album chart in history.
Billboard notes that 21 has sold a total of 7,353,000 copies of 21 in the US alone, while worldwide sales are at 20 million. The publication began using SoundScan data to track music sales in 1991, and 21 is the longest-running #1 album since that era began. Adele’s sophomore LP is now tied with MC Hammer’s 1990 offering Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, the last album to spend 21 weeks atop the chart.
Only eight other albums have spent 21 weeks or more at #1 — Prince’s Purple Rain soundtrack (1984) and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (1978) being the next in line at 24 weeks apiece, and the West Side Story soundtrack (1962) being the leader with 54 weeks. The others include Harry Belafonte’s Calypso (1956, 31 weeks), the South Pacific soundtrack (1958, 31 weeks), Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (1977, 31 weeks) and Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1982, 37 weeks).
Adele’s post-Grammy boost also sends her 2008 debut LP 19 up the chart to #4 on the strength of 87,000 copies sold last week. In fact, as you look over the Top 10, you can see that the Grammy Nominees compilation and the latest albums from Paul McCartney, Bruno Mars, Lady Antebellum and the Civil Wars all benefited from the awards ceremony’s telecast two Sundays ago.
Meanwhile, Whitney Houston’s Whitney – The Greatest Hits (175,000) leaps up four positions to #2 in the first full sales week since the singer’s death on February 11. The collection originally peaked at #5 upon its release in 2000. Elsewhere on the chart, Houston’s debut LP Whitney Houston climbs to #37 (17,000), The Bodyguard soundtrack is at #38 (17,000), I Look To You moves up to #65 (9,000), Whitney rises to #87 (7,000) The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack is at #90 (7,000) and My Love Is Your Love re-enters the Top 200 at #193 (4,000).
The Top 10 Of Billboard’s Top 200 Chart
1. Adele, 21 *21 weeks*
2. Whitney Houston, Whitney – The Greatest Hits
3. Various, Now 41
4. Adele, 19
5. Various, 2012 Grammy Nominees
6. Van Halen, A Different Kind Of Truth
7. Paul McCartney, Kisses On The Bottom
8. Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans
9. Lady Antebellum, Own The Night
10. The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow