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Adele Makes Soundscan History as "21" Repeats as Best-Selling Album

Image courtesy of Columbia Records (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Columbia Records (via ABC News Radio)

All the sales figures from 2012 are in, and it's official: Adele's album 21 was the best-selling album of the year, according to Nielsen Soundscan.  But it was also the best-selling album of 2011, making this the first time since 1991 -- the year SoundScan started tracking album sales -- that the same album has been the best seller two years in a row.

Billboard reports that 21 sold 4.41 million copies for the year.  In 2011, it sold slightly more copies: 5.82 million.  Since the album debuted back in March of 2011, it's never left the top 40.

The second-biggest selling album of the year was Taylor Swift's Red , with 3.11 million copies sold, according to Nielsen Soundscan.  That's followed by One Direction's debut, Up All Night , at #3; Mumford & Sons ' Babel at #4; One Direction's sophomore album, Take Me Home , at #5; and Justin Bieber's Believe at #6.  The rest of the top 10 are all country albums, including discs from Carrie Underwood , Lionel Richie and Jason Aldean .

When it comes to the year's best-selling songs, Gotye is tops with "Somebody That I Used to Know."  The track sold 6.80 million copies in 2012, according to Nielsen Soundscan.  Runner-up is Carly Rae Jepsen 's "Call Me Maybe," with 6.47 million copies.  Fun. 's "We Are Young" is in third place, with 5.95 million copies sold.  Those three songs each sold more than any other song has ever sold in a calendar year. 

The rest of the year's best selling songs are:

4. Maroon 5, "Payphone"
5. Nicki Minaj, "Starships"
6. One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
7. fun., "Some Nights"
8. Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
9. PSY, "Gangnam Style"
10. Maroon 5, "One More Night"

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