Official Top 40 biggest albums of 2021 so far

Albums from Olivia Rodrigo, Rag'n'Bone Man and The Kid Laroi are among the UK's biggest of the year so far.

As we pass the halfway mark of 2021, Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour claims the UK’s biggest album of the year so far.

Six weeks after its release - three of which were at Number 1 - Olivia’s debut album Sour has racked up 170,000 chart sales, according to Official Charts Company data. The record is performing best on streaming, with 79% of its total figure comprising streaming equivalent sales, while the remaining 21% is made up of CD and cassette sales (18%) and downloads (3%). Sour is released on vinyl on August 20.

MORE: Official Top 40 biggest songs of 2021 so far

Sour has already celebrated several huge achievements, including the biggest opening week of 2021 so far (51,000 chart sales), and Olivia being the youngest solo artist to achieve the Official Chart Double, with her song Good 4 U also topping the singles chart that week.

Behind Olivia, Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia remains a hugely popular following its release in 2020, placing second after racking up 143,500 chart sales this year (409k in total). A combination of hit singles Levitating and We’re Good, plus a deluxe Moonlight Edition of the record, have boosted its sales this year, holding a spot in the Top 10 every week since the last week of February.


Dua Lipa with her Official Number 1 Album Award.

Harry Styles’ Fine Line continues to enjoy success one-and-a-half years on from its release, currently the UK’s third biggest album of the year (109k), while Queen’s Greatest Hits (106k) ranks fourth as the band celebrate their 50th anniversary. Best-of albums dominate the year-to-date Top 40 – 12 in total - including two more in the Top 10: Fleetwood Mac’s 50 Years – Don’t Stop (6) and Elton John’s Diamonds (9).

Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut, Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon completes the Top 5 with 104,000 chart sales in 2021. A second self-titled posthumous collection from the rapper arrives on July 16.

2021’s big pop albums

As well as Olivia, The Weeknd’s retrospective The Highlights, which debuted at Number 2 in February following his Super Bowl Half Time Show, places seventh, and Rag’n’Bone Man’s chart-topping Life By Misadventure is at 11 but and claims the most physically-purchased (CD and vinyl) album of the year to date.


Rag'n'Bone Man with his Official Number 1 Album Award.

Elsewhere, Justin Bieber’s latest album Justice, released in March, is 12th, and Little Mix’s 2020 album Confetti is at 18, enjoying continued success this year thanks to their BRIT Award win for Best Group, plus January’s Number 1 hit Sweet Melody and Top 10 title track.

Lana Del Rey’s Chemtrails Over The Country Club is at 32 after earning the US singer-songwriter her fifth Number 1 back in April, and soul-pop newcomer Celeste is at 33 with her chart-topping debut collection Not Your Muse.

Top rock albums

Flying the flag for rock are Foo Fighters, whose latest album Medicine At Midnight is at 13 after becoming their fifth UK Number 1 in February. Further down, indie-pop trio London Grammar rank at 34 with their chart-topping third album Californian Soil, just ahead of British rock duo Royal Blood, who place at 37 with Typhoons, which became their third consecutive Number 1 studio album in May.


Dave Grohl with Foo Fighters' Official Number 1 Album Award.

Rap stars

While Pop Smoke claims the UK’s biggest rap album of 2021 so far, other popular rap records this year include posthumous Juice Wrld album Legends Never Die at 21, and debut mixtapes F**k Love from Australian rapper/singer The Kid Laroi at 22), and Wild Westby British star Central Cee at 24.

Official Top 40 biggest albums of 2021 so far

  TITLE ARTIST PEAK
1 SOUR OLIVIA RODRIGO 1
2 FUTURE NOSTALGIA DUA LIPA 1
3 FINE LINE HARRY STYLES 2
4 GREATEST HITS QUEEN 1
5 SHOOT FOR THE STARS AIM FOR THE MOON POP SMOKE 1
6 50 YEARS - DON'T STOP FLEETWOOD MAC 5
7 THE HIGHLIGHTS WEEKND 2
8 DIVINELY UNINSPIRED TO A HELLISH EXTENT LEWIS CAPALDI 1
9 DIAMONDS ELTON JOHN 5
10 DIVIDE ED SHEERAN 1
11 LIFE BY MISADVENTURE RAG'N'BONE MAN 1
12 JUSTICE JUSTIN BIEBER 2
13 MEDICINE AT MIDNIGHT FOO FIGHTERS 1
14 EVERMORE TAYLOR SWIFT 1
15 RUMOURS FLEETWOOD MAC 1
16 CURTAIN CALL - THE HITS EMINEM 1
17 TIME FLIES - 1994-2009 OASIS 1
18 CONFETTI LITTLE MIX 2
19 WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO BILLIE EILISH 1
20 GOLD - GREATEST HITS ABBA 1
21 LEGENDS NEVER DIE JUICE WRLD 1
22 F**K LOVE KID LAROI 10
23 HIGH EXPECTATIONS MABEL 3
24 WILD WEST CENTRAL CEE 2
25 AM ARCTIC MONKEYS 1
26 WHAT'S THE STORY MORNING GLORY OASIS 1
27 POSITIONS ARIANA GRANDE 1
28 NUMBER ONES MICHAEL JACKSON 1
29 DUA LIPA DUA LIPA 3
30 FOLKLORE TAYLOR SWIFT 1
31 LEGEND BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS 1
32 CHEMTRAILS OVER THE COUNTRY CLUB LANA DEL REY 1
33 NOT YOUR MUSE CELESTE 1
34 CALIFORNIAN SOIL LONDON GRAMMAR 1
35 GET TO KNOW BECKY HILL 20
36 LEGACY DAVID BOWIE 5
37 TYPHOONS ROYAL BLOOD 1
38 WITHOUT FEAR DERMOT KENNEDY 1
39 1 BEATLES 1
40 SINGLES MAROON 5 32

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