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Adele breaks Official Charts history with 3 million album sales


The Official Charts Company can confirm that Adele has today broken Official Charts history, becoming the first artist in music history to hit 3 million sales of an album in one calendar year. 

The album, 21, which was released 24 January 2011 achieved phenomenal success this year, not least being recognised in last night's Mercury Music Prize. Despite being pipped to the post yesterday for the prestigious accolade by fellow British singer/songwriter PJ Harvey, Adele can instead today celebrate being the youngest female to hit the 3 million sales mark with an album, and doing so in one calendar year, a music industry first.

21, Adele’s second studio album has now also become the third best selling album by a British female artist, surpassed only by Leona Lewis's 2007 debut release, Spirit, which shifted 3.03m copies, and Amy Winehouse's Back To Black (3.29m), which last month overtook James Blunt’s Back To Bedlam to become the highest selling album of the 21st century.

Adele, who was in attendance at the 2011 Mercury Music Prize yesterday evening at London's Grosvenor House, told how she was "gutted" not to be able to perform due to a chest infection. However, with a nominated album that has today arrived at the 3 million sales milestone amid an outstanding run in the Official Albums Chart, the singer has plenty of reason to be happy. 

By this Sunday, 21 will have spent an impressive 33 weeks in the Top Five of the Official Albums Chart, racking up an average sale of almost 91,000 copies per week across the period.  On sale for a total of 227 days so far, that is equivalent to over 13,000 albums sold per day.

Martin Talbot, managing director of the Official Charts Company says: "Three million albums in a year is a simply extraordinary achievement by Adele, who is now occupying an unparalleled position in the history of British music. In reaching such an elevated landmark so quickly, 21 has eclipsed any other album previously released in the UK - superceding even the likes of Sgt Pepper, Thriller, Dark Side Of The Moon, Brothers In Arms. There is no questioning now that Adele has joined the ranks of British music legends."

Click here to see the Official Singles and Albums Charts.

Source: Official Charts Company.

Notes to Editors

Chart information quoted from this release must be credited to The Official Charts Company. The Official Charts Company is a joint venture between record labels' body the BPI and ERA, the Entertainment Retailers Association. The Official Charts Company are responsible for the commissioning, marketing, distribution and management of the UK's industry standard music charts and industry sales data.

The Official Charts Company compiles its charts from sales information gathered across all key distribution (or entertainment) channels including all major high street retail chains, independent stores, supermarkets, mail order internet retailers and digital music service providers. This market research sample equates to 99% of the total UK Singles market; 98% of the total UK Albums market and 90% of the total UK DVD market.

BBC Radio 1 and the Official Charts Company publishes the full singles and album updates online at BBC Radio 1 can be found on 97-99fm; on DAB Radio; online at; and on Freeview, Sky, Virgin and Freesat.

The Official Chart Update with Greg James, 3.30pm-4pm, BBC Radio 1; The Official Chart Show with Reggie Yates, Sunday 4pm-7pm, BBC Radio 1; Jo Whiley, Mondays 8pm-9pm (Jo features Official Album Chart highlights)

 For more information

 Lauren Kreisler 07789 886263