Adele leads the way as British acts invade US charts - News - Music - The Independent

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
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

music
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.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week