It's official. "4" is a US chart smash, shifting almost a million copies since its July release to land at number 7 on Billboard's list of 2011's best-sellers. Quite an achievement for an album that dared to stray from the well-worn Dr. Luke/Max Martin/RedOne path to chart glory. It's even more impressive when you consider that Beyoncé only promoted two singles before announcing her pregnancy and is yet to land a top 10 hit this era. I guess it just goes to prove that people are still interested in quality music.
As for the rest, 2011 was Adele's year. "21" slayed the field and those numbers will continue to grow well into 2012. Even if you subtract the 500,000 albums that Lady Gaga gave away for free, "Born This Way" is still a huge success but clearly not the all-conquering smash she claimed it would be. More impressive is Katy Perry, who showed real staying power with "Teenage Dream" and rising country star Jason Aldean. He owes at least some of that success to his brilliant Kelly Clarkson duet, so kudos to her too. Here are the best-selling albums of 2011 in America, as of this week:
1. 21 - Adele 4,533,000
2. Born This Way - Lady Gaga 1,902,000
3. Tha Carter IV - Lil Wayne 1,693,000
4. My Kinda Party - Jason Aldean 1,337,000
5. Sign No More - Mumford & Sons 1,294,000
6. Watch The Throne - Jay-Z & Kanye West 1,070,000
7. 4 - Beyoncé 921,000
8. Teenage Dream - Katy Perry 872,000
9. Doo-Wops & Hooligans - 871,000
10. Own The Night - Lady Antebellum - 814,000
On the topic of Bey, here's the alternate version of "Countdown" without the borrowed choreography from that Dutch ballet. It's still cute but I prefer the original.