Adele's "25" has destroyed music records, and it's only been out for a week.
In its first four days, the album sold more than 2.4 million copies, becoming the highest-selling album in its debut week in the US. The previous record was held by *NSYNC's "No Strings Attached," which sold 2.4 million records during its opening week in 2000.
Now that the full week's sales have been tallied, we know Adele's "25" sold 3.38 million copies,according to Nielsen.
There is simply no comparison to be made between Adele and other contemporary music, said David Bakula, senior vice president of industry insights at Nielsen Entertainment.
"You run out of superlatives to describe something like this. There is no precedent for something this big," Bakula told Business Insider. "It’s not just that she's breaking the record, but we're now in a day and age where music consumption has changed so dramatically. You can’t overstate how important and incredible a feat it is that this record is getting to the level that it is."
Bakula pointed out that when *NSYNC beat the record, there were no streaming services available, so more people were buying albums. In 2000, 88 albums sold more than a million copies. This year? There are four, with a potential fifth: Taylor Swift's "1989," Drake's "If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late," Ed Sheeran's "X," Adele's "25," and possibly Sam Smith's "In the Lonely Hour."
To put Adele's sales in perspective, we've compared them to Swift's "1989," which, up until the release of "25," was the highest-selling album of the year (though it came out last year).