This CD cover image released by Columbia Records shows, "25," the latest release by Adele.
Photo by Columbia Records/AP

With ‘25,’ Adele smashes 15-year-old record for most albums sold in a week


If three wasn’t Adele’s lucky number before, it should be now. The British pop singer’s third album didn’t just break the record for most albums sold in a single week in the U.S. – it obliterated it. “25” sold a whopping 3.38 million units in its first seven days of release, Billboard announced on Sunday.

It took about three days for “25” to first break the record for most albums sold in a week, during which time it moved an average of 9 copies per second, according to BBC News. Along the way, Adele crushed a record that had been cemented in place for nearly 15 years. Previous record holder *NSYNC sold 2.4 million copies of “No Strings Attached” in its debut week in March of 2000  the year album sales also peaked historically, according to Billboard. Prior to “25,” it was the only album that had ever sold more than 2 million units in a single week. Adele is now the first singer to ever sell 3 million in one frame. (Historical footnote: Nielsen Music did not begin tracking sales until 1991.)

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In the post-Napster world and with the advent of music streaming services like Rhapsody and Spotify, it seemed unfathomable that *NSYNC’s record would ever be broken. But even one former member of the band conceded that Adele had defied all odds. “In all honesty, Adele is the truth  kinda excited a rare talent like hers is in the same breath as our group,” Joey Fatone said to Billboard on the day his record was broken. ”I’m a huge fan … I even bought the damn album.” 

“25” is already 2015’s best-selling album. But time will tell if it can best the success of her sophomore album “21,” which went on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide.