The UK's Official Top 40 biggest studio albums of the 21st Century

We celebrate National Album Day by unveiling the UK's biggest records since January 2000.

October 12 marks National Album Day 2019, the second annual celebration of the album format, which has been enjoyed by music fans across the globe for 70 years.

To mark the occasion, Official Charts is revealing the UK's Top 40 biggest studios albums of the 21st Century. The chart, which aired asa special Pick of the Pops on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds between 1pm - 3pm, is based on physical sales, downloads and streams since January 1 2000.

Adele’s 2011 album 21 is Number 1 on the chart, with her 2015 album 25 coming in at Number 3, and a total of three albums ranking within the Top 40, with her debut album 19 placing at Number 26.  

Adele's triology of albums have a combined total of 11.17 million chart sales, including 5.16 million for 21. The record is the UK's best-selling album of all-time by a solo artist, certified 17x Platinum.

Meanwhile, 25 is UK's fastest-selling album of all-time, with over 800,000 paid-for sales in its first week of release, and is also the quickest to reach three million sales in UK chart history. Its current chart sales figure stands at 3.56 million.

The Top 5 albums on the chart are by British acts, with a 50/50 split of male to female artists in the Top 10. In all, the Top 10 records have racked up 35 million chart sales, made up of 29.3 million physical copies, 3.8 million downloads and 2.2 million sales-equivalent streaming units.

Amy Winehouse claims the UK's second biggest album of the 21st Century with her second studio album Back to Black, the last record released in her lifetime. The collection has just over 4 million chart sales to date, powered by 87% physical sales.

Like Adele, Ed Sheeran also lands two entries in the Top 5. His 2014 album X is the UK's fourth biggest of the millennium (3.5 million), while 2017's ÷ is in fifth (3.4 million). ÷ holds a UK chart record for the highest first week sales for a male artist.

In sixth place, with the best-selling debut album of all-time, is James Blunt's Back to Bedlam. Featuring the hit singles You're Beautiful and Wisemen, Back to Bedlam has racked up 3.37 million chart sales. Close behind in seventh place is Leona Lewis' debut album Spirit (3.18m), an eight-week chart-topper across 2007-2008. 

Michael Bublé claims the highest entry for an international artist at Number 8 with his chart-topping sixth album Crazy Love (3.15m), while Dido's debut record No Angel (3.09m) is at Number 9. David Gray's seminal album White Ladder (3.04m) rounds out the Top 10 at Number 10.

Lady Gaga's 2009 debut The Fame just misses out on a Top 10 placing at Number 11; and Kings of Leon score the most popular album by a group with Only By The Night in 12th, edging out Coldplay in 13th with A Rush Of Blood To The Head.

Michael Bublé and Dido chalk up another Top 20 entry each with Christmas (14) and Life For Rent (15), while Coldplay lock down a further two slots in the Top 20 with X&Y (18) and Parachutes (20).

Other acts to feature in the millennium Top 50 include Take That, Scissor Sisters, Eminem, Sam Smith, Robbie Williams and Rihanna.

The UK's Official Top 50 biggest studio albums of the millennium

POS TITLE ARTIST PEAK YEAR
1 21 ADELE 1 2011
2 BACK TO BLACK AMY WINEHOUSE 1 2006
3 25 ADELE 1 2015
4 X ED SHEERAN 1 2014
5 DIVIDE ED SHEERAN 1 2017
6 BACK TO BEDLAM JAMES BLUNT 1 2004
7 SPIRIT LEONA LEWIS 1 2007
8 CRAZY LOVE MICHAEL BUBLE 1 2009
9 NO ANGEL DIDO 1 2000
10 WHITE LADDER DAVID GRAY 1 1999
11 THE FAME LADY GAGA 1 2008
12 ONLY BY THE NIGHT KINGS OF LEON 1 2008
13 A RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD COLDPLAY 1 2002
14 CHRISTMAS MICHAEL BUBLE 1 2011
15 LIFE FOR RENT DIDO 1 2003
16 BEAUTIFUL WORLD TAKE THAT 1 2006
17 HOPES AND FEARS KEANE 1 2004
18 X&Y COLDPLAY 1 2005
19 SCISSOR SISTERS SCISSOR SISTERS 1 2004
20 PARACHUTES COLDPLAY 1 2000
21 COME AWAY WITH ME NORAH JONES 1 2002
22 THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP EMINEM 1 2000
23 IN THE LONELY HOUR SAM SMITH 1 2014
24 + ED SHEERAN 1 2011
25 EYES OPEN SNOW PATROL 1 2006
26 19 ADELE 1 2008
27 OUR VERSION OF EVENTS EMELI SANDE 1 2012
28 SWING WHEN YOU'RE WINNING ROBBIE WILLIAMS 1 2001
29 PROGRESS TAKE THAT 1 2010
30 HOT FUSS KILLERS 1 2004
31 AMERICAN IDIOT GREEN DAY 1 2004
32 THE CIRCUS TAKE THAT 1 2008
33 ROCKFERRY DUFFY 1 2008
34 SING WHEN YOU'RE WINNING ROBBIE WILLIAMS 1 2000
35 BY THE WAY RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS 1 2002
36 SONGS ABOUT JANE MAROON 5 1 2003
37 ESCAPOLOGY ROBBIE WILLIAMS 1 2002
38 EMPLOYMENT KAISER CHIEFS 2 2005
39 THE GREATEST SHOWMAN MOTION PICTURE CAST RECORDING 1 2017
40 LOUD RIHANNA 1 2010

©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

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