I'm going to give you a quick recap of Adele's achievements so far this year, and then I'm going to do something far more risky. I'm going to give you news from the future about Adele's feats. (In this case, it's not quite as risky as it sounds. It will be almost impossible for anyone else to top the year-end charts or to break up Adele's expected Grammy sweep. Still, I don't make these projections casually. I expect you to hold me to it.)Dusty Springfield. (The irony: Springfield never sold albums like this. She had four top 10 singles through the years, but never cracked the top 50 on the album chart.)
Another factor may be at work here. At a certain point, these things take on a life of their own. Once an album (or a movie or a TV show) really takes off, you almost have to check it out if you want to be in the cultural conversation.
50 Cent's rap blockbuster The Massacre topped the 3 million mark in the week ending April 17.)Santana's comeback smash Supernatural in 1999-2000.
Amos Lee's Mission Bell) debuted at #1 with sales of just 40,000, that's quite an accomplishment.
Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard soundtrack, which spent its first 30 weeks in the top five in 1992-1993. (Tellingly, both Supernatural and The Bodyguard went on to win Grammys as Album of the Year.)
Adele's album has sold 1,156,000 digital copies, which makes it the best-selling album in digital history.Elton John's sentimental smash "Candle In The Wind 1997," which he unveiled at Princess Diana's funeral on Sept. 6 of that year, sold 8,111,000 copies in the U.S. in the closing weeks of 1997. Eminem featuring Rihanna last summer.
No one could have predicted the runaway success of 21. Adele's previous album, 19 (both of her album titles reflect her age when she recorded them) had sold a solid but unspectacular 930,000 copies prior to the release of 21. (It has since sold 381,000 additional copies.)
But there were signs that Adele was poised for bigger things. She won two Grammys for 19: Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Chasing Pavements," the album's modestly successful single. (It reached #21 on the Hot 100.)Jonas Brothers, Duffy and Lady Antebellum) had sold more albums than Adele prior to Grammy night. (Adele had outsold the fifth finalist, Jazmine Sullivan). That was evidence that Adele's stature exceeded her sales to that point.
That covers the present and the past. Now, let's gaze into the future.Taio Cruz's 2010 hit "Dynamite" to become the best-selling song by a British artist in digital history. "Dynamite" has sold 5,328,000 copies.
Before the year is out, 21 will top the 4 million mark in U.S. sales. It will be the first album to sell 4 million copies in a calendar year since 2005, when both Mariah Carey's The Emancipation Of Mimi and 50 Cent's The Massacre reached that plateau.Usher scored in 2004 with his album Confessions and its smash single "Yeah!" (which featured Lil Jon & Ludacris).
She will be only the second female artist to top both year-end charts, following Whitney Houston, who scored in 1993 with The Bodyguard soundtrack and the smash ballad "I Will Always Love You." (The Bodyguard soundtrack also featured other artists, but since Houston has slightly more than half of the album's playing time, it is generally regarded as a Houston album.)George Michael. The former Wham! singer scored in 1988 with his first solo album, Faith, and its rollicking title track.
This will be the fourth year in a row that a female artist has had Billboard's #1 album of the year. Adele will follow Alicia Keys, who was #1 for 2007 with As I Am; Taylor Swift, who was #1 for 2009 with Fearless and Susan Boyle, who was #1 last year with I Dreamed A Dream.Spice Girls achieved the feat in 1997 with its debut album Spice. Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" was on top for 2008.
On Feb. 12, 2012, Adele will dominate the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which will be presented at Staples Center in Los Angeles. I expect her to win at least five awards, including the "Big Three"--Album, Record and Song of the Year. (Record of the Year is for a specific recording of a song. Song of the Year is for the song itself. Adele co-wrote "Rolling In The Deep" with Paul Epworth.)Carole King swept the boards in 1972 with Tapestry (Album), "It's Too Late" (Record) and "You've Got A Friend" (Song). Dixie Chicks scored in 2007 with Taking The Long Way (Album) and "Not Ready To Make Nice" (Record and Song). Beyonce, has six Grammys in one night. She set that record in 2010, the year she was honored for "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)." Six years earlier, Beyonce won five Grammys in one night. Lauryn Hill (1999), Alicia Keys (2002), Norah Jones (2003), Amy Winehouse (2008) and Alison Krauss (2009). Winehouse, whose success helped pave the way for Adele, is currently the only British female artist to win five Grammys in one night, a record that Adele is certain to tie and may even surpass.
- Rolling In The Deep