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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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