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Adele’s 21 might have come out in 2011, but it remained the best-selling album in the U.S. in 2012.
21 is the first album to repeat as the top-selling album for two straight years since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking album sales for Billboard. The album, which won the Grammy for Album of the Year and includes the hits “Someone Like You” and “Rolling In The Deep,” sold an amazing 4.41 million copies. In 2011, the album sold 5.82 million copies. It is just the 21st album since 1991 to hit 10 million copies sold.
Adele’s album was also the top seller on iTunes and Billboard named her the Artist of the Year.
Taylor Swift’s Red, which topped the album chart for the final week of the year, sold 3.31 million copies. The album was only released in October. It is the fourth time in her career that she has been in the Top 5 of the best-selling albums in a year. She topped the list in 2009 with Fearless which sold 3.22 million copies.
The rest of the Top 5 includes One Direction’s Up All Night (1.62 million); Babel by Mumford & Sons (1.46 million) and One Direction’s Take Me Home (1.34 million). Justin Bieber’s Believe, Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away, Luke Bryan’s Tailgates & Tanlines, Lionel Ritchie’s Tuskegee and Jason Aldean’s Night Train rounded out the Top 10.
Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” was easily the top-downloaded single of 2012 with 6.80 million sold. Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" was downloaded 6.47 million times. A total of 1.336 billion tracks were sold during 2012, a 5 percent jump from the year before.