According to the Billboard 200 all-genres album chart, we’re already two weeks into 2016. Adele’s third studio set, 25, still has a chokehold on the top spot of the charts. In fact, she has now held the No. 1 position on the albums chart for five consecutive weeks and sales are still brisk. The question now is: Can 25 continue to sell so well as to retain the top-selling album of 2016 title? Yes, it’s way too early to tell, but there are indications that she just might be able to pull it off, thus garnering 25 the top-selling title for two consecutive years.
Billboard announced December 27 that Adele’s 25 sold 1.16 million albums for the week ending January 9, 2016 (which covered the sales week ending on December 24, 2015) to notch a fifth week at the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200. Those numbers push the musical juggernaut to 7.13 million in total units moved since its release. It was the third week in which 25 sold more than a million copies. Added to the 825,000 units sold the first chart week of 2016, that puts the album dangerously close to the 2 million mark (1.99 million) for 2016 already. And we learned after Adele’s crushing first sales week just how rare albums selling above the 2 million threshold were.
Not only was 25 the top selling album of 2015, beating out Taylor Swift’s 1989 for the year’s title in just three weeks, but in its fourth week of sales, it also surpassed 1989 (8.98 million to 5.87 million, respectively, at the time) as the biggest selling album since Adele’s own 21, which was released in 2011 and has sold 11.44 million units to date (11.37 million at the time 25 took second place).
At present, Adele’s stiffest competition for the top selling album of 2016 is Justin Bieber’s Purpose, which held on to the No. 2 position again this week. Purpose has sold 395,000 units thus far in 2016 — a far cry fewer than 25. Chris Brown’s latest album, Royalty, was the highest debut of the week, moving 184,000 units. One Direction’s Made In The A.M. has sold 159,000 thus far. So, as you can see, catching Adele and surpassing her in 2016 will take some staying power by albums already out and debuting. And given 25‘s popularity and continuing sales, that may be quite the herculean task.
So… is there an artist releasing an album in 2016 that could potentially overtake the British superstar’s latest effort? A few major artists set for possible 2016 releases (barring complications) that might have a chance include: Charlie Puth, Sia, Bon Jovi, 50 Cent, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, OneRepublic, Pearl Jam, Wiz Khalifa. But if the sales of Adele’s two previous albums (21 selling 11.44 million and 19 selling over 3 million) are an indication of what 25 is set to do, especially having already topped 7 million in total sales and nearly 2 million so far for 2016, there is no telling how many units will move before the end of the year, making 25 the frontrunner and probably the album to chase for all other contenders.