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Adele’s 25 says Hello to another record, sells over 4 million copies in two weeks

Chris Leo Palermino

Adele has been saying “hello” to more than just massive crowds at sold-out stadiums this year; she’s also greeting massive wads of cash. The 27-year-old musician has recently been named the richest female songbird to ever come out of the U.K.

Adele is currently worth £85 million, or $122 million, according to the Times’ recently-published Rich List, which takes stock of the wealthiest individuals in the United Kingdom and Ireland each year. The list claims that the singer’s wealth has grown considerably since the release of her latest blockbuster album, 25, and estimates that she is worth $50 million more than this time last year.

Related: Even at 73, Paul McCartney still brought me to tears

By all accounts, 25 has been a massive success, having broken numerous records since it first arrived in fall of 2015 and selling 15 millions of copies as of January 2016, all without being available via on-demand streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. The singer is currently in the midst of a worldwide tour in support of the material.

That said, Adele’s impressive wealth is still modest when compared to many of her male counterparts in the U.K. and Ireland, ranking 30th out of the 50 musicians on the Sunday Times’ music list. Famed Beatle Paul McCartney takes the top spot there, with an estimated $1.1 billion.

In fact, Adele is actually the second wealthiest female musician on the list, with Irish-born singer Enya eking out the top spot at $130 million — a situation which will likely reverse soon given the huge success of Adele’s current tour, and much broader audience.

Most of the top slots on the list are familiar to music fans as members of legendary classic rock bands, who have had decades to amass their fortunes: McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ringo Starr, and Sting all helped to make up the top 10.

Given the fact that the Adele train continues muscling forward at full speed, it would be surprising if her name doesn’t appear higher on the list in years to come. Ian Coxon, the director of the Times’ annual list, thinks the singer will also make their list of the overall wealthiest 1,000 in the U.K. this time next year.

“Adele is only 27 so I would see her getting in the main list of the richest 1,000 in a couple of years – she is only £15 to £20m away now,” Coxon says.

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Adele’s smoking hot new album, 25, just can’t seem to stop breaking records. After shattering the previous record for single-week album sales by a full million units at 3.38 million, the album has loaded up another title for its second week: According to Billboard25 is the first record since Nielsen began tracking sales in 1991 to sell at least 1 million records in its second week. The album is now pushing 5 million units sold, with a little less than a day left in its two-week debut run.

25 began with a big bang, selling 2.433 million albums in less than four days, and breaking the all time record for most albums sold in one week with plenty of to spare. Billboard predicted the new record would sell at least 2.9 million by week’s end, which it bested by half a million units, blowing away the 2.415 million unit mark that the previous record holder, *NSync with No Strings Attached in 2000

15 years after the boy band claimed its stake, global recorded music industry revenues in the streaming age are nowhere near where they were in 2000 — but that hasn’t stopped Adele.

Related: It’s official: Adele is the biggest pop star in the world

The pop superstar, loved by both young and old, notably withheld 25 from music streamers like Spotify and Apple Music. While it’s difficult to quantify exactly how much of an effect the decision had on album sales (1,500 streaming plays are equated as a single album sale under Billboard’s current system), the decision to withold the album from Spotify, Apple Music, and others was clearly the impetus for at least some Adele fans to buy the record on CD or digital download.

“Adele is a phenomenon,” said Billboard co-director of charts Keith Caulfield to the New York Times. “She connects with fans in such a way that they want to invest in her, and her music.” The New York Times report also noted that a spokesperson from Target, the U.S.-based big-box chain which is selling an exclusive version of the CD with three extra songs, said that 25 had the “biggest opening-day sales of an album in the store’s history.”

The record is the first from Adele (now 27) since 21 came out nearly five years ago. Considering that record’s music industry dominance — including seven Grammy awards, more than 30 million records sold, and a chart-topper in more than 30 countries — the industry was hotly anticipating its follow-up. The fires were stoked when the first single released for the record, Hello, started burning up the sales charts as soon as it debuted, including selling nearly half a million copies in just its first two days.

One thing’s for sure: execs from XL and Columbia, the record labels which co-released 25, are going to be celebrating long into the new year.


Updated 12/4/2015 by Ryan Waniata: After smashing the single week sales record in its first week by over 1 million copies, Adele’s 25 sold another million units in it’s second week — the first album to do so since Nielsen began tracking sales.

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