Many incredible musicians have entered our eardrums with amazing debut albums that have set the bar so high that they struggle to ever be able to reach that status again. But super singer supreme – Adele – surely defeated the music industry hex known as “the sophomore jinx” with her second album called 21. Considering that Adele’s astounding entrance into stardom and worldwide concert stages was the groundbreaking 19, success for Adele’s follow-up collection of tunes had some pretty huge shoes to fill.
Adele released 19 in 2008, and this blockbuster release sold 4 million copies in her side of the world – the UK, another 2 million in the United States, and an overall amazing total of 7 million worldwide. Critical accolades were also surrounding the juggernaut success of 19, with Adele winning the Grammy Award for Best New Artist and the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her smash single “Chasing Pavements” during the 51st Grammy Awards presentation. All of these top level triumphs and financial increases are a whole lot to live up to, but Adele proved to be no one-hit wonder.
The explosion of Adele’s second album release 21 was bolstered by the strength of five huge hit songs – “Rolling in the Deep”, “Someone Like You”, “Set Fire to the Rain”, “Rumour Has It” and “Turning Tables” that were spread out during the course of November 2010 and November 2011. Being that 21 was originally released on January 19th 2011, it is pretty astounding that it continued to have legs to stand on throughout the duration of 2011. The two Grammy Awards Adele won for her first album 19 would be tripled when referring to the amount of statues awarded to 21, further burying any talk of a “sophomore jinx.” Adele’s six Grammy Awards included the coveted Album of the Year award, Record of the Year award and Song of the Year award.
On the record sales side of things, 21 also ironically became the 21st album to ever go “diamond”, or 10 times platinum, by selling 10 million copies in the Unites States according to Nielsen SoundScan, who has been tracking music sales data since 1991. As far as albums that have accomplished this diamond status in two years or less, Adele’s 21 is the 8th one to do it. The other seven of these diamond selling over-achievers include: N Sync’s No Strings Attached, Backstreet Boys’ Millennium, Santana’s Supernatural, Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, Creed’s Human Clay, Shania Twain’s Come on Over and The Bodyguard soundtrack.
The famed Guinness Book of World Records also acknowledged the record-breaking record sales that Adele’s sophomore album amassed. Adele’s lucky number continued to be “21”, with 21 becoming the top selling album of the 21st century in the United Kingdom, with help from it having the longest run at the top of the UK Album Chart by a female solo artist – thanks to its 23-week stint. Also, in the United States, 21 maintained the top chart position for 24 weeks, which had not been achieved since 1985. With over 25 million copies sold worldwide, Adele’s second album 21 not only outsold her debut by an incredible 18 million copies, but it destroyed any chance of a sophomore jinx – and raised the bar even higher for Adele’s third album.