You don't need Nielsen SoundScan's year-end sales report to know which way the wind blows, but just to make it official: Adele blew away the competition in 2011, with 21 easily claiming the year's best-selling album with 5.82 million copies, and the single "Rolling In The Deep" beating out all songs with 5.81 million. It was a good year for the record industry on the whole as well, with album sales up 1 percent over 2010, the first time sales have gone up since 2004. (Probably not coincidentally, 21 sold better than any single album since '04.) Overall sales—including albums, singles, music videos, and digital songs—were up almost 7 percent.
The other top-selling albums of the year include Michael Buble's Christmas (No. 2, 2.5 million), Lady Gaga's Born This Way (No. 3, 2.1 million), Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV (No. 4, 1.9 million), Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party (No. 5, 1.6 million) Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More (No. 6, 1.4 million), Drake's Take Care (No. 7, 1.3 million), Justin Bieber's Under The Mistletoe (No. 8, 1.3 million, 2,000 copies behind Take Care), Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch The Throne (No. 9, 1.2 million) and Lady Antebellum''s Own the Night (1.2 million, about 30,000 copies behind Watch The Throne).
The rest of the year's best-selling songs include LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" (No. 2, 5.5 million), Katy Perry's "E.T." (No. 3, 4.8 million), Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" (No. 4, 4.1 million), Pitbull's "Give Me Everything" (No. 5, 3.9 million), Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks" (No. 6, 3.8 million) Adele's "Someone Like You" (No. 7, 3.8 million), Cee Lo Green's "Forget You" (No. 8 3.7 million, including both explicit and clean versions), Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" (No. 9, 3.6 million) and Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" (No. 10, 3.5 million).
One chart that Adele didn't dominate was vinyl sales, which were up again in 2011 (though is still accounts only for 3.9 percent of total music sales). For the third year in a row, The Beatles' Abbey Road was the year's best-selling vinyl release, selling 41,000 copies. Other top vinyl sellers include Fleet Foxes' Helplessness Blues (29,700), Bon Iver's Bon Iver (29,200), Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More (26,800), and Radiohead's The King Of Limbs (20,800). [via the Los Angeles Times]