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Adele's '21' Is Top-Selling LP for Second Straight Year

Gotye leads single sales with 'Somebody That I Used to Know'

Adele/Gotye
John Shearer/WireImage;Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage
January 3, 2013 1:20 PM ET

Adele's mega-smash 21 was 2012's best-selling album in the United States, marking the first time during the SoundScan era that the same album has taken that top spot two years in a row, Billboard reports.

Selling 4.41 million copies this year (down from last year's 5.82 million), 21 also became the 21st album to sell 10 million copies since SoundScan started tracking music sales in 1991. The album hasn't left the Billboard 200, nor the weekly top 40, since its debut on March 21st, 2011. Along with topping the Billboard charts again, Adele's 21 was the best-selling album on iTunes two years running. 

Coming in second in album sales was Taylor Swift's Red, which moved 3.11 million copies. One Direction nabbed both the third and fifth spots with their two records, Up All Night (1.62 million) and Take Me Home (1.34 million), becoming the first act in the SoundScan era to take two of the top five spots. In fourth place was Mumford & Sons' Babel, whose 1.46 million made it the biggest selling rock album of the year, and the only rock record appear in the top 10. 

Gotye had the year's biggest digital single with "Somebody That I Used to Know," with sales of 6.8 million. Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" was second with sales of 6.47 million; and fun. came in third with their Janelle Monáe collaboration "We Are Young," which sold 5.95 million. All three songs sold more than the previous record-holder for sales in a single year, which was Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," which moved 5.81 million in 2011. 

In fourth place for singles was Maroon 5's collaboration with Wiz Khalifa "Payphone," while Nicki Minaj's "Starships" sold 3.98 million copies to land in the fifth spot. Rounding out the top ten were One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" at number six (3.89 million), fun.'s "Some Nights" in seventh (3.84 million), Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" in eighth (3.82 million), Psy's "Gangnam Style" in ninth (3.59 million) and Maroon 5's "One More Night" in tenth (3.46 million).

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“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

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