Adele’s ’25’ Sold 3.38 Million Copies During Its First Week In The United States

Pop Report Card: Adele
One Idolator writer revisits Adele's discography and ranks each record-breaking LP.

The numbers are in: Adele‘s third album 25 sold 3.38 million copies during its first week in the United States.

That is nearly a million more copies than what Billboard reported on Tuesday (November 24), when 25 broke *NSYNC‘s sales record for 2000’s No Strings Attached. Moreover, that makes for the biggest week for an album since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991. To put it another way: Adele’s 25 had the biggest album sales week in Nielsen’s 24-year history. Ever.

Adele has certainly made history before. Nielsen Music reported that her 2008 debut 19 was the biggest selling catalog release during the first six months of 2011, as in the same year 21 was released. The latter would sell 2.5 million copies that year, 1.5 million of those being physical copies.

What makes 25‘s sales even more impressive is that it broke records set by Britney SpearsBackstreet Boys and Eminem more than a decade ago. Napster was around, sure, but streaming services weren’t. In fact, Adele went ahead and acted with 25 like those services didn’t exist. Less than 24 hours prior to 25‘s November 20 release, Spotify and Apple Music were notified that the album won’t be made available for streaming.

At least one critic has blasted the British singer for her short-sightedness. “You could have driven listeners to streaming services, you could have bumped up subscriptions. Instead, you’re just muddying the water. Keeping people in the past,” Bob Lefsetz wrote once he heard the news.

Meanwhile, Adele is probably somewhere laughing.

[via Billboard]

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