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Adele’s '25' and the 10 Biggest Album Debuts Ever

You might know Adele slayed the charts with her most recent release, but check out the rest of the 10 biggest debuts in modern music!

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Haven’t you heard? Adele’s 25, the most anticipated album of 2015, scored the biggest singles-week U.S. sales debut of all time (or, at least, since Nielsen began tracking such things in 1991). Adele’s third LP has joined a prestigious group of albums that were feverishly snapped up on their release, from T-Swift opuses to 50 Cent’s big comeback, from *NSYNC’s big album to… *NSYNC’s other big album.

Check out the 10 biggest album debuts ever, from 25 onward (all sales figures via Billboard and Nielsen Music).

1 / 10

Adele, "25"

November 2015
Sales: 3.38 million

Led by the epic single “Hello,” Adele’s third album has taken over pop culture in the fourth quarter of 2015, and broke the single-week U.S. sales record midway through its debut week.

2 / 10

*NSYNC, "No Strings Attached"

March 2000
Sales: 2.416 million

The massive success of the boy band’s 1997 self-titled album led to a tsunami of sales for its follow-up, which included hits like “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me” and stood as the biggest single sales week in the U.S. for 15 years.

3 / 10

*NSYNC, "Celebrity"

July 2001
Sales: 1.88 million

Pretty crazy: Before Adele came along, *NSYNC owned the top TWO biggest U.S. sales weeks ever, for their final two full-lengths. Their swan song, Celebrity, featured “Pop,” “Gone,” “Girlfriend” and another mind-boggling debut.

4 / 10

Eminem, "The Marshall Mathers LP"

May 2000
Sales: 1.76 million

Who’s the real Slim Shady? The owner of the biggest sales week ever for a rap album, that’s who. Eminem’s second album marked his arrival as a superstar, and went on to snag an album of the year nomination at the Grammys.

5 / 10

Backstreet Boys, "Black & Blue"

November 2000
Sales: 1.591 million

BSB wasn’t feeling too “blue” after this gigantic bow—although Black & Blue failed to topple their arch-rivals *NSYNC and their No Strings Attached debut. Still, the full-length featuring “Shape of My Heart” and “The Call” stands as this boy band’s best sales start ever.

6 / 10

Britney Spears, "Oops!… I Did It Again"

May 2000
Sales: 1.319 million

The success of Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time album gave way to a huge debut for its follow-up, as the sophomore LP became the pop singer’s only album to sell north of 1 million copies in a single week.

7 / 10

Taylor Swift, "1989"

November 2014
Sales: 1.287 million

Don’t tell Taylor Swift that album sales are historically slowing down: After crossing the million mark with 2010’s Speak Now and 2012’s Red, 2014’s full-on swivel to pop music marked her best debut ever, in spite of the haters hate, hate, hate, hating.

8 / 10

Taylor Swift, "Red"

October 2012
Sales: 1.208 million

When Taylor Swift sang the words “We are never ever getting back together,” she wasn’t talking to U.S. music consumers. The country-pop star’s 2012 opus was a commercial tour de force and critical hit, earning an album of the year Grammy nom.

9 / 10

50 Cent, "The Massacre"

March 2005
Sales: 1.141 million

50 Cent broke big with Get Rich or Die Tryin’, but it was his 2005 follow-up, The Massacre, that earned the blockbuster sales debut. Although it’s not as beloved within the hip hop community, this sophomore effort moved a whole lot of units.

10 / 10

Backstreet Boys, "Millennium"

May 1999
Sales: 1.134 million

Like *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys used a hits-packed self-titled debut and a scorching-hot follow-up single (in their case, “I Want It That Way”) to snag huge sales for their second album. A little less than a year before No Strings Attached, BSB’s Millennium was the boy band mega-seller.

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