British star Adele has achieved the colossal feat of notching up the best-selling release in the US for a second consecutive year – with the same album, 21.
It is the first time an album has topped sales for two years running for almost 30 years, as her second album continues to shift huge quantities.
And she spearheaded a year of amazing success in the US for British artists with four of the top six biggest-selling albums of 2012 by UK performers.
Boy band One Direction landed two of the top sellers – together selling 2.9 million copies – with Mumford & Sons also doing well.
Adele added on 4.4 million sales of 21 last year in the US, on top of 5.8 million the previous year. She pushed past the 10 million mark in November.
The last album to be a best-seller in successive years was Michael Jackson’s Thriller in 1983 and 1984.
Second place for 2012 sales went to US singer Taylor Swift, while One Direction – featuring Swift’s boyfriend Harry Styles – were in third place with Up All Night on 1.6 million sales. The group’s follow-up, Take Me Home, was fifth and shifted 1.3 million copies.
The second album by Mumford & Sons, Babel, was at six, having racked up 1.4 million sales, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.
The top-selling single of the year was Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know, which was downloaded a record 6.8 million times.
Adele’s sales in the UK have continued to climb and last year 21 was the second-biggest seller according to data from the Official Charts Company, behind Emeli Sande’s Our Version Of Events.
Despite being released nearly two years ago, 21 amassed a further 786,000 copies in 2012, bringing UK sales to 4.6 million.
It has now overtaken Oasis’s (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? to become the fourth biggest-selling album of all time in the UK.
Retailer HMV has reported that it sold its one millionth copy of the album during the Christmas period.
Figures released yesterday showed Coexist by The XX was the best-selling vinyl album in the UK in 2012.
Second place went to the 40th anniversary re-release of The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars by David Bowie.
Jack White’s Blunderbuss was the number three vinyl best-seller while Adele’s 21 was in fourth place. Vinyl sales grew in 2012 for a fifth successive year with a 15 per cent increase on the previous 12 months although vinyl still accounts for just 0.4 per cent of all album sales.