Adele has joined a very exclusive club.
Her sophomore album, 21, has sold 10 million copies to reach diamond status within two years of its release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The last album to sell 10 million copies was *N Sync’s No Strings Attached in 2001 in its 43rd week. The only album in the SoundScan era to hit 10 million faster was the Backstreet Boy’s Millenium in its 39th week in February 2000.
Only five other albums have ever gone diamond within two years, or 104 weeks, of release. The are: Santana’s Supernatural (60 weeks), Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill (66 weeks), The Bodyguard soundtrack (72 weeks), Creed’s Human Clay (93 weeks), and Shania Twain’s Come On Over (96 weeks).
21 sold 28,000 copies in the past week to reach 10,020,000 copies sold. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and spent 24 non-consecutive weeks at the top spot — the most in the SoundScan era. The album has since spent 80 weeks in the top 10.
21 is the third album to cross the 10 million copy threshold this year, following Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory and Usher’s Confessions. Linkin Park’s album was released in 2000; Usher’s was released in 2004.
Since 1991, the highest selling album is Metallica’s self-titled album, which sold 15.8 million copies. Come On Over has sold 15.5 million and Jagged Little Pill has sold 14.8 million.
Millenium comes in fourth at 12.2 million, and the Beatles’ 1 rounds out the top five at 12.1 million.
All four of 21‘s official singles have reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The first three — “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” and “Set Fire to the Rain” — have reached No. 1.The fourth, “Rumour Has It,” reached No. 16. An unofficial fifth single, “Turning Tables,” reached No. 63 in May 2011.
Adele is currently at the top of the charts with “Skyfall,” the title song from the James Bond film of the same name. The single debuted at No. 8 in October.