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Adele’s ’30’ named UK’s biggest selling album of 2021

Others in the Top Ten include ABBA and Olivia Rodrigo

By Will Richards

Adele has pulled her Las Vegas residency in its entirety. (Picture: Theo Wenner)

Adele’s comeback album ’30’ has officially been crowned the UK’s biggest selling album of 2021.

New data from the Official Charts Company counts down the 40 top albums from last year, with the returning ABBA and newcomer Olivia Rodrigo also featuring prominently.

In top spot, Adele’s first album for six years sold over 600,000 equivalent album sales, including 448,000 physical copies.

It also ties with Rodrigo’s debut album ‘SOUR’ for most weeks spent at the top of the album charts, with both albums holding the position for five weeks.

In terms of the year-end list, Ed Sheeran‘s ‘=’ – pronounced ‘Equals’ – comes in second place with 432,000 sales in 2021, while ABBA’s ‘Voyage’, their first new studio album in 40 years, shifted over 400,000 copies. The album then went platinum within a month of its release.

Rodrigo’s ‘SOUR’ sits at Number Four, the highest debut album on the list, while others in the Top Ten include Dua Lipa, Elton John and Dave.

See the full Top 40 biggest selling albums of 2021 in the UK below.

1 Adele – ’30’
2 Ed Sheeran – ‘=’
3 ABBA – ‘Voyage’
4 Olivia Rodrigo – ‘SOUR’
5 Queen – ‘Greatest Hits’
6 Dua Lipa – ‘Future Nostalgia’
7 Ed Sheeran – ‘÷’
8 Elton John – ‘Diamonds’
9 Fleetwood Mac – ’50 Years – Don’t Stop’
10 Dave – ‘We’re All Alone In This Together’
11 The Weeknd – ‘The Highlights’
12 Harry Styles – ‘Fine Line’
13 ABBA – ‘Gold’
14 Coldplay – ‘Music Of The Spheres’
15 Pop Smoke – ‘Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon’
16 Lewis Capaldi – ‘Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent’
17 Fleetwood Mac – ‘Rumours’
18 Doja Cat – ‘Planet Her’
19 Eminem – ‘Curtain Call – The Hits’
20 Rag’n’Bone Man – ‘Life By Misadventure’
21 Justin Bieber – ‘Justice’

22 Drake – ‘Certified Lover Boy’
23 Oasis – ‘Time Flies (1994-2009)’
24 Arctic Monkeys – ‘AM’
25 The Kid LAROI – ‘F*ck Love’
26 Billie Eilish – ‘Happier Than Ever’
27 Adele – ’25’
28 Oasis – ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’
29 Michael Jackson – ‘Number Ones’
30 Bob Marley & the Wailers – ‘Legend’
31 Taylor Swift – ‘evermore’
32 Taylor Swift – ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’
33 Billie Eilish – ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’
34 The Beatles – ‘1’
35 Mabel – ‘High Expectations’
36 JUICE WRLD – ‘Legends Never Die’
37 Dua Lipa – ‘Dua Lipa’
38 Taylor Swift – ‘folklore’
39 – Elton John – ‘The Lockdown Sessions’
40 Little Mix – ‘Confetti’

Olivia Rodrigo against pastel background
Olivia Rodrigo (Picture: Press)

Elsewhere, the UK recorded music industry saw another year of growth in 2021, with 147 billion streams and over 150 million equivalent album sales recorded last year.

According to data from the BPI, Album Equivalent Streams (AES) for last year saw 159.3 million equivalent albums sold, up on the 155.4m from 2020 and representing a seventh consecutive year of growth.

Last month, streaming services revealed that Olivia Rodrigo’s breakout track ‘drivers license’ was the most streamed song globally for 2021, with single ‘good 4 u’ being the most played song on both Apple and Spotify in the UK.

The 2021 newcomer also claimed the top spot for most streamed album globally for her debut ‘SOUR’, followed in second by Dua Lipa’s ‘Future Nostalgia’.