February 22, 2016


Adele by the Numbers: A Chart Success Comparison of '21' & '25'


Even if you have been living under a rock for the past three months, you (and everyone else in the world—from your loving grandma to the local postman) couldn’t escape the musical domination that was Adele’s 25 album. Released on Nov. 20, 2015 after a four-year hiatus, the project found the British singer taking hold of her pop reins once again. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we must not forget Adele’s previous (and also incredibly major) album—21.

Her sophomore effort celebrates its fifth anniversary today (Feb. 22), and in honor of the LP we at Fuse decided to break down its chart success while comparing the record to its older sister. Because what’s more fun than a healthy sibling rivalry? Dig into our roundup of 21 vs. 25 stats below.

Lead Single
21: “Rolling in the Deep,” released on Nov. 29, 2010 
25: “Hello,” released on Oct. 23, 2015

Lead Single’s Billboard Hot 100 Chart Debut
21: “Rolling in the Deep,” No. 68
25: “Hello,” No. 1 (it became only the 24th song to debut at the top spot since Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?")

Highest Position on Singles Chart
21: “Rolling in the Deep” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks, making it Adele’s first No. 1 in the U.S.
25: “Hello” kept its No. 1 position for 10 weeks, becoming her longest-running number-one single and longest running since Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again.”

Billboard 200 Chart Debut
21 and 25 both debuted at No. 1 (duh)

First-Week Album Sales
21: 325,000 copies
25: 3.38 million copies

Number of Singles Released
21: Five (“Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” “Set Fire to the Rain,” “Rumour Has It,” “Turning Tables”)
25: Two so far (“Hello” and “When We Were Young”)

Lead single’s Length of Running Time on Billboard’s Hot 100 at No. 1
“Rolling In The Deep”: Seven consecutive weeks 
“Hello”: 10 consecutive weeks 

Lead single’s Overall Length of Running Time on Billboard’s Hot 100 
“Rolling In The Deep”: 24 weeks 
“Hello”: 16 weeks (so far) 

Album’s Length of Running Time on Billboard’s Top 200 at No. 1 
21: 234 non-consecutive weeks 
25: 9 non-consecutive weeks (Future recently beat Adele for the top position with this month’s EVOL release) 

Album’s Overall Length of Running Time on Billboard’s Top 200 
21: 208 weeks (or a whopping four years
25: 12 weeks (so far!)

International Album Certifications 
21: 15x Platinum in Australia, 16x Platinum in the U.K. and 11x in the U.S. 
25: 8x Platinum in Australia, 9x Platinum in the U.K. and 8x Platinum in the U.S. 

Total Album Sales Worldwide 
21: 30 million copies 
25: 15 million copies as of January 10, 2016

Watch Fuse's video retrospective celebrating the five-year anniversary of Adele's 21: