Top Selling Albums of the Year

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• January 3, 2013

redFor the first time, country albums scored five slots in the year’s top 10 best sellers list, thanks to albums by Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Jason Aldean.

More year-end news includes Adele’s record breaking streak, and the best digital tracks week in history.

Top selling albums of 2012
based on Nielsen SoundScan transactions between Jan. 2, 2012 and Dec. 30, 2012, reported by Billboard.

carrie-underwood-blown-away-album-cover_0No. 1—Adele, 21. For the first time in SoundScan history, the same album is the top U.S. seller two years in row. In 2012, the project sold 4.41 million copies, in 2011 it moved 5.82 million.
No. 2—Taylor Swift, Red, 3.11 million
No. 3 and 5—One Direction, Up All Night, 1.62 million, and Take Me Home, 1.34 million. It is the first time the same artist has had two projects in the top 5 of the year.
No. 4—Mumford & Sons, Babel, 1.46 million
lukeNo. 6—Justin Bieber, Believe, 1.34 million
No. 7—Carrie Underwood, Blown Away, 1.20 million
No. 8—Luke Bryan, Tailgates & Tanlines, 1.10 million
No. 9—Lionel Richie, Tuskegee, 1.07 million
No. 10—Jason Aldean, Night Train, 1.02 million

Top digital songs of 2012
No. 1—Gotye, “Somebody That I Used to Know” (featuring Kimbra), 6.80 million
lionelrichie_2012cdcvr_hNo. 2—Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe,” 6.47 million
No. 3—fun., “We Are Young” (featuring Janelle Monae), 5.95 million

Digital tracks— The week ended Dec. 30 set the record for most tracks downloaded in a week with 55.74 million digital songs purchased, driven largely by Christmas gift card redemptions.

nightVinyl album sales increased for the fifth consecutive year, with the top seller being Nashvillian Jack White’s Blunderbuss (34k). For the year, vinyl albums were up 18 percent to 4.55 million.

Read more in MusicRow’s exclusive Weekly Register Year End Edition.



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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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