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Adele’s 21 hits the 10-million-album mark

We knew the singer was popular, but no one predicted this. Adele’s second album becomes only the 21st album ever to hit the diamond mark.


Adele‘s album 21 lived up to its name this week, as it became the 21st album to hit 10 million copies sold since Nielsen Soundscan began tracking record sales in 1991.

“Adele’s sophomore studio album debuted in 2011 and featured such hits as ‘Rolling in the Deep,’ ‘Someone Like You’ and ‘Set Fire to the Rain,'” according to the Associated Press.

And even though this is only the 21st album to reach the mark in the last 21 years, 2012 has been a landmark year for “diamond” albums. Adele’s 21 becomes the third album already this year to hit the mark. Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park and Confessions by Usher both also passed the milestone this year. However, Hybrid Theory was released in 2000 and Confessions in 2004. 21 is not even 2 years old yet (it will celebrate that birthday in February).

“Adele won in all six categories she was nominated in at the Grammys earlier this year, including album of the year,” said the Associated Press.

According to MTV, a diamond-selling album may be mostly a thing of the past, with the easy access to online listening, YouTube videos and downloading.

“There is no set of events that can be duplicated [with 21],” Keith Caulfield, associated director of charts/retail for Billboard magazine told MTV. “Every blockbuster album has its own set of unique circumstances that propel it to that status and I don’t think anyone would have expected 21 to sell as extraordinarily well as it has.”

Adele’s music has something a lot of other albums don’t, including the ability to cross over to different genres and different target audiences. Jeff Rabhan, chair of recorded music and an arts professor at New York University’s Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, told MTV his guess about the reason for the album’s success.

“The 20-year veteran of the music business, who has worked with everyone from Kelly Clarkson to Linkin Park and Jennifer Lopez, said the thing Adele did that, say [Linkin] Park’s Hybrid Theory didn’t, was that it reached an older demographic that is much more likely to buy a CD rather than a digital single,” said MTV.

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