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Adele’s New Album Could Smash ‘NSync’s Sales Record

Fans wait to see Adele on Nov. 20 in New York City.Fans wait to see Adele on Nov. 20 in New York City.
Fans wait to see Adele on Nov. 20 in New York City.Photograph by Gardiner Anderson — Bauer-Griffin

Nielsen’s record for most one-week album sales has stood since 2000 when ‘NSync’s No Strings Attached sold 2.42 million copies.

But from the looks of it, Adele’s new album 25, which debuted on Friday, will likely surpass that.

According to Billboard, the iTunes store alone had sold 900,000 copies of the British songstress’s long-awaited third record as of Saturday. Those downloads, along with sales of physical CDs, put Adele on track to sell 2.5 million albums in the first week, which Nielsen measures from Friday through Thursday. (A Target spokesman told The New York Times that Adele’s 25 had the largest opening-day sales of any album in the store’s history.)

The figure would blow past ‘NSync’s longstanding record, which is particularly impressive since the boy band’s album was released before physical CDs faced real competition from iTunes and streaming services. If Adele’s album sales stay on track to reach 2.5 million, 25 would become this year’s best-selling album by a long shot, surpassing Taylor Swift’s 1989, sales of which stood at 1.74 million as of Nov. 12, according to Billboard.

Adele broke a different record held by Swift in October when the video for her single “Hello” racked up 27.7 million views on Vivo, the top music video platform, in its first 24 hours, crushing Swift’s “Bad Blood,” which viewers had watched 20.1 million times.

Adele’s album sales likely got a boost from the Grammy winner’s decision to not stream the album on Spotify alongside her earlier records, 19 and 21.