Playing second fiddle for only the second time in its 18-week chart career, Adele’s 21 was dethroned by Lady GaGa’s second album, Born This Way, which became the biggest debut of the year.
Reaching number one with 215,639 copies, Born This Way eclipsed the 208,090 that 21 sold when it entered the chart in January – but not the 257,731 copies it sold in its 10th week - and has the best first week tally of any album by an American female solo artist since Madonna’s Confessions On A Dancefloor opened with sales of 217,610 copies in 2005.
Although it outsold the rest of the Top 10 artist albums combined, Born This Way’s opening week was only the 36th biggest of the 21st century – and its arrival has blunted the impact of the four singles thus far lifted from it: Judas retreats from eight to nine (29,895 sales); Born This Way dropped from 16 to17 (22,495 sales); The Edge Of Glory fell from six to 18 (20,377 sales) and Hair slumped 13 to 68 (4,667 sales).
Nevertheless, overall sales of GaGa songs are heading rapidly towards the 6m mark, with the current total of 5,908,800 including 113,143 last week.
GaGa’s debut album, The Fame, opened at number three on sales of 25,228 copies in January 2009, and had its biggest sales week in the last week of the same year, when it sold 143,252 copies to occupy fourth position in the chart. It reached number one on its 12th week in the chart, eventually spending seven weeks at number one in four separate runs.
It jumped from 11 to seven this week, returning to the Top 10 after an absence of 36 weeks. It was the album’s 72nd week in the Top 10 in total, and its 124th consecutive week in the Top 75, with a lowest position of number 55. It has sold 2,590,468 copies to date, including 14,245 last week.
Adele, inevitably, also had two albums in the Top 10 – indeed, in the top three. 21 sold fewer than 50,000 copies last week for the first time, with 49,611 buyers lifting its 1- week tally to 2,393,853 as it slipped to number two, while debut album 19 continued at number three with a further 21,909 sales, raising its career tally to 1,427,270.