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Adele has had one of the most successful years in the music industry in a long time. Her album, 21, has sold more copies than any other album since Usher’s 2004 record, Confessions, and the album’s singles, which includes “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You,” have also been massive hits. Her work, as well as Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, have helped the music industry recover slightly from a lackluster 2010.
According to MTV News, 19 has sold 5.6 million copies in the US alone, making it the first album to pass 5 million in one year since Usher’s Confessions. That album sold 7.9 million copies over eight years ago. In comparison, Eminem’s Recovery was the best-selling album in 2010, but sold only 3.4 million copies. In 2009, Taylor Swift’s Fearless needed just 3.2 million to be the best-selling album.
Reuters notes that 21 will help overall music sales grow 3 percent over 2010. The last time sales grew that much was 2004 as well. However, as Nielsen analyst David Bakula noted to Reuters, that year, Confessions was the only big seller.
This year, Adele had competition from Lady Gaga, whose Born This Way album sold 2.03 million copies, and Michael Buble’s Christmas, which sold 1.96 million, according to Metro. Adele’s first album, 19, which was released back in 2008, was also a big seller this year, coming in the list of 25 best-sellers.
Still, the music industry is far behind its glory days. The last time an album sold in excess of 10 million copies in a single year was N’Sync’s No String Attached, which sold 11 million copies in 2000.