Last week, we predicted that Adele would start 2012 with her 14th (non-consecutive) week at #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, and lo! the prediction came true. Now that the final numbers are in for 2011 (full singles and album sales lists after the jump), Adele’s dominance has never been clearer. Selling 5.82 million copies of 21 during the calendar year 2011, Adele outsold second place holder Michael Bublé‘s Christmas by over 3 million copies, and marked the most sales of any album since 2004 when Usher‘s Confessions sold 7.98 million copies. “Rolling In The Deep” was also at the top of the singles sales list, with 5.81 million copies sold, the first single to ever exceed 5 million paid downloads in a year.
It will be interesting to see what 2012 holds for Adele, given that the singer/songwriter isn’t planning to turn out another album any time soon, and has been quoted as saying she wants to “lay low” for a while, and only release a new album when it’s perfect. Adele was the only artist in 2011 to have Top 10 sales for two singles (“Someone Like You” was #7), and was joined by Lady Gaga as the only other artist to have both a Top 10 sales ranking album and single. Given that Forbes named Lady Gaga the highest earning female artist in 2011, and that she’s set to release another album in 2012 when Adele could quite possibly drop off the radar entirely, could 2012 be Mother Monster’s year to shoot to number one? And if not, who will rise to the top of the pack in Adele’s absence? Will they be able to come close to Adele’s behemoth sales?