Adele leads the way as British acts invade US charts

Adele’s award-winning album 21 named the biggest-selling record in the US for the second year in a row

American music fans have succumbed to a British invasion after figures showed that four of the five best-selling albums of the year in the Billboard charts were by UK artists.

Adele's award-winning album 21 has been named the biggest-selling record in the US for the second year in a row. The album, which spawned hits including "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You", sold 4.4 million copies in 2012 after shifting 5.8 million in 2011.

It is the first time that one album has topped the sales chart for two years in a row since Nielsen Soundscan began tracking US album sales in 1991.

One Direction, the boyband formed by X Factor contestants, held two spots in the top five. Their 2011 debut album Up All Night was at three, while their follow-up, Take Me Home, was the fifth-best seller.

The quintet racked up a total of 2.9 million album sales but their "What Makes You Beautiful" single sold an additional 3.9 million track downloads, hitting number six in the 2012 US top-selling singles list.

Mumford and Sons, the British folk rockers, are now the biggest guitar band in the United States. Their Babel album was the fourth best-seller of the year and is the only rock album in the top ten.

Taylor Swift was the sole US artist in the top five with her fourth studio album Red, which sold 3.1 million copies in just over two months.

British acts will compete for a new Global Success Award at next month's Brit Awards, recognising those with the highest international sales achieved during the 2012.

The British acts' success is credited to a willingness to tour the United States extensively and a keen ear for the kind of melodic song which appeals to radio programmers in a country where the medium remains crucial to mainstream success.

Keith Caulfield, associate director of charts at Billboard Magazine, said Adele's success was due to the "right combination of artistry and hit singles". He said: "She really crossed over from pop to Latin to adult contemporary to dance. Young and old consumers bought it."

Albums by North American stars including Justin Bieber and Bruce Springsteen failed to sell in large numbers as the US albums market fell by 4% to 316 million units, with fans turning to streaming sites and single track downloads.

Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" was the year's top-selling US song after being downloaded 6.8 million times. Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" was second with 6.5 million.

Meanwhile in the UK, Coexist, the second album by The XX, was the best-selling vinyl album of 2012, according to figures from the Official Charts Company. Vinyl sales grew for the fifth successive year with a total of 389,000 LPs sold during 2012 – an increase of 15.3 per cent over 2011.

UK hits best selling albums in the US in 2012

1. Adele: 21 (4.4 million copies)

2. Taylor Swift: Red (3.1 million )

3. One Direction: Up All Night (1.6 million)

4. Mumford and Sons: Babel (1.5 million)

5. One Direction: Take Me Home (1.3 million)

Source: Nielsen Soundscan

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Kathy (Sally Lindsay) in Ordinary Lies
tvReview: The seemingly dull Kathy proves her life is anything but a snoozefest
Arts and Entertainment

Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boy

music
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig in a scene from ‘Spectre’, released in the UK on 23 October

film
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap

film
Arts and Entertainment

Poldark review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Katie Brayben is nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Carole King in Beautiful

film
Arts and Entertainment
Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot has been cast to play Wonder Woman
film
News
Top Gear presenter James May appears to be struggling with his new-found free time
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kendrick Lamar at the Made in America Festival in Los Angeles last summer
music
Arts and Entertainment
'Marley & Me' with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Hamm (right) and John Slattery in the final series of Mad Men
tv
Arts and Entertainment
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
art
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

    Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
    Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

    Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

    For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
    Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

    Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

    As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
    How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
    11 best bedside tables

    11 best bedside tables

    It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
    Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

    Italy vs England player ratings

    Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
    Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

    Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public