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Chart Watch Extra: Top 10 Albums at Mid-Year

Chart Watch

How slow were album sales in the first half of 2011? Only two albums have sold 1 million copies so far this year, and one of those famously had a little help from a near-giveaway promotion. The paucity of hits makes Adele's achievement all the more remarkable. Her sophomore album, 21, has sold 2,517,000 copies, which would be considered a solid total in any sales climate.

Three of the five best-selling albums so far this year never reached #1 on The Billboard 200, which shows that topping the charts isn't everything. Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More and Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party both peaked at #2. Bruno Mars' Doo-Wops & Hooligans peaked at #3.

Three tracks appear on two albums each in the mid-year top 10. Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are," Chris Brown's "Yeah 3X" and Rihanna's "Only Girl (In The World)" all appear on Now 37, as well as those artists' studio albums. "Just The Way You Are" and "Only Girl (In The World)" both won Grammys in February, for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and Best Dance Recording, respectively.

Gwyneth Paltrow did surprisingly well in the first half of the year. She performs three songs on Glee: The Music, Season Two: Volume 5, which is the best-selling soundtrack so far this year, and four songs on Country Strong, which is the best-selling soundtrack from a theatrically-released movie.

Here are the top 10 albums for the first six months of 2011, with selected other title holders.

1. Adele, 21, 2,517,000. This is the best-selling album so far this year. It's also the best-selling pop album; the best-selling album by a female artist; and the best-selling album by a British artist. The album debuted at #1 the week ending Feb. 27.

2. Lady Gaga, Born This Way, 1,540,000. This is the best-selling album so far this year by an American artist. The album debuted at #1 the week ending May 29. It was her first #1.

3. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More, 982,000. This is the best-selling album by a duo or group so far this year. It's also the best-selling album so far this year that was released in a prior year. The album got a big boost from the group's performance with Bob Dylan and the Avett Brothers on the Grammys. The album sold an additional 626,000 copies in 2010.

4. Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party, 763,000. This is the best-selling country album so far this year. It's also the best-selling album by a male solo artist. Kelly Clarkson is featured on "Don't You Wanna Stay." The album sold an additional 687,000 copies in 2010.

5. Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, 686,000. Damian Marley, Cee Lo Green and B.o.B are featured on this album, which sold an additional 458,000 copies in 2010.

6. Justin Bieber, Never Say Never: The Remixes, 676,000. This is the best-selling EP so far this year. The collection debuted at #1 the week ending Feb. 20.

7. Chris Brown, F.A.M.E., 646,000. This is the best-selling R&B album so far this year. The album features a raft of guest stars, including Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris and Wiz Khalifa. The acronym stands for either Forgiving All My Enemies or Fans Are My Everything. The album debuted at #1 the week ending March 27. It was Brown's first #1.

8. Various Artists, Now 37, 637,000. This is the best-selling multi-artist compilation so far this year. The album debuted at #1 the week ending Feb. 13.

9. Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday, 609,000. This is the best-selling rap album so far this year. The album sold an additional 852,000 copies in 2010.

10. Katy Perry, Teenage Dream, 600,000. This hit-studded album sold an additional 997,000 copies in 2010. It was that year's #14 album.

14. P!nk, Greatest Hits...So Far!!!, 530,000. This is the best-selling greatest hits set so far this year. The album, which collects P!nk's hits from "Get The Party Started" to "F**kin' Perfect," sold an additional 284,000 copies in 2010.

17. Foo Fighters, Wasting Light, 497,000. This is the best-selling rock album so far this year (this counts Mumford & Sons' album as contemporary folk). The album debuted at #1 the week ending April 17. It was the band's first #1.

25. Adele, 19, 341,000. This 2008 album is the best-selling catalog album so far this year. The album, which features Adele's Grammy-winning hit "Chasing Pavements," sold an additional 883,000 copies in previous years.

32. Kidz Bop Kids, Kids Bop 19, 310,000. This is the best-selling children's album so far this year. The album debuted at #2 the week ending Jan. 23.

35. Kirk Franklin, Hello Fear, 300,000. This is the best-selling gospel or Contemporary Christian album so far this year. The album features such well-known gospel artists as Marvin Sapp and Marvin Winans. It debuted at #5 the week ending March 27.

39. Soundtrack, Glee: The Music, Season Two: Volume 5, 282,000. This is the best-selling soundtrack so far this year. The album debuted at #3 the week ending March 13.

41. Jackie Evancho, Dream With Me, 276,000. This is the best-selling "classical crossover" album so far this year. The album features two prominent guest stars, Susan Boyle and Barbra Streisand. The album debuted at #2 the week ending June 19.

45. Soundtrack, Country Strong, 260,000. This is the best-selling soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie so far this year. The album sold an additional 43,000 copies in 2010.

103. The Lonely Island, Turtleneck & Chain, 142,000. This is the best-selling comedy album so far this year. It's among the year's most star-studded releases, with contributions from Akon, Michael Bolton, Beck, Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Nicki Minaj and John Waters. The album debuted at #3 the week ending May 15.

111. Mana, Drama y Luz, 132,000. This is the best-selling Latin album so far this year. The album debuted at #5 the week ending April 17.

118. Broadway Cast Recording, The Book Of Mormon, 127,000. This is the best-selling original cast album so far this year. The album from the Tony-winning musical debuted at #31 the week ending May 22.

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