21 (Adele album)

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21 is the second studio album by English singer-songwriter Adele. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_0

It was released on 24 January 2011 in Europe and on 22 February 2011 in North America by XL Recordings and Columbia Records. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_1

The album was named after the age of the singer during its production. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_2

21 shares the folk and Motown soul influences of her 2008 debut album 19, but was further inspired by the American country and Southern blues music to which she had been exposed during the North American leg of her 2008–09 tour An Evening with Adele. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_3

Composed in the aftermath of the singer's separation from her then partner, the album typifies the near dormant tradition of the confessional singer-songwriter in its exploration of heartbreak, introspection, and forgiveness. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_4

Adele began writing 21 in April 2009, when still involved in the relationship that subsequently inspired the record. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_5

Dissatisfied with once again portraying herself as the musical tragedian of her debut, she had intended to compose a more upbeat and contemporary follow-up. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_6

However, studio sessions ended prematurely due to a lack of inspiration. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_7

She resumed production immediately after the breakdown of her relationship, channelling her heartbreak and depression into her songs. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_8

Adele collaborated with various songwriters and producers, including Columbia Records co-president Rick Rubin, Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Jim Abbiss, and Dan Wilson. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_9

Praised by critics for its understated production, vintage aesthetic, and Adele's vocal performance, 21 defied the modest commercial expectations of her independent record label XL Recordings. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_10

The album topped the charts in more than 30 countries and became the world's best-selling album of the year for 2011 and 2012. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_11

In the United Kingdom, it is the best-selling album of the 21st century, the fourth best-selling album of all time, and the best-selling album by a solo artist of all time, while its 23-week tenure atop the UK Albums Chart is the longest by a female solo artist. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_12

In the United States, the album held the top position for 24 weeks, longer than any other album since 1985 and the longest by a female solo artist in Billboard 200 history. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_13

In addition, it had the most weeks on the Billboard 200 chart of any album by a woman and was ranked as the "Greatest Billboard 200 Album of All Time." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_14

It was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association America (RIAA). 21 (Adele album)_sentence_15

Five singles were released to promote the album, with "Rolling in the Deep," "Someone like You" and "Set Fire to the Rain" becoming international number-one songs, while "Rumour Has It" charted in the top 20 across Europe and North America. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_16

21 was the biggest selling musical release of both 2011 and 2012 and helped revitalise the lagging sales of the UK and US music industry. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_17

With sales of over 31 million copies worldwide, it is the best-selling album of the 21st century, and one of the best-selling albums of all time. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_18

21 is widely cited by music scholars, critics and music listeners alike as one of the greatest albums of all-time. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_19

It is ranked amongst Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_20

Critics hailed the album as a shift from the overtly sexual and musically bombastic status quo and attributed its success to its deeply autobiographical yet universal songs. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_21

Shortlisted for the 2011 Mercury Prize, 21 won the 2012 Grammy Award for Album of the Year and the Brit Award for British Album of the Year. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_22

Writing and production 21 (Adele album)_section_0

Early writing sessions 21 (Adele album)_section_1

In April 2009, 20-year-old Adele, who had recently embarked on her first serious relationship with a man 10 years her senior, began composing the follow-up to her 2008 debut album 19. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_23

In response to the media's typecasting her as an "old soul" due to the vintage production and sentimental nature of her songs, Adele decided on a more upbeat and contemporary second album. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_24

However, studio sessions were generally unproductive and, after two weeks, yielded only one song recorded to the singer's satisfaction—the Jim Abbiss-produced "Take It All," a lovelorn piano ballad not unlike the songs on 19. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_25

Disillusioned with lack of inspiration and the slow progress of the studio sessions, she cancelled the remaining recording session dates. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_26

Adele had written "Take It All" during a difficult moment in her 18-month relationship, which ended shortly after she first played this song for her boyfriend. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_27

Heartbroken but musically stimulated, Adele channeled her rush of emotions into her music, crafting songs that examined her failed relationship from the perspectives of vengeful ex-lover, heartbroken victim, and nostalgic old flame. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_28

Sessions with Epworth, Smith, and Tedder 21 (Adele album)_section_2

Writing for the album began shortly after Adele separated from her lover. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_29

Within a day of her break-up, she contacted producer Paul Epworth, intent on capturing her emotion in a song: "We'd had a fuming argument the night before ... 21 (Adele album)_sentence_30

I'd been bubbling. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_31

Then I went into the studio and screamed." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_32

Although she had initially planned on completing a ballad that she had begun writing with Epworth more than a year ago, the producer suggested that she aim for a more aggressive sound. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_33

Together, they restructured the song and re-wrote lyrics to reflect Adele's recent experience, deciding on the title "Rolling in the Deep." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_34

The instrumentation evolved organically—after trying out various jazz riffs, Adele attempted the first verse a cappella, inspiring Epworth to improvise a melody on his acoustic guitar. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_35

A thumping drum beat was set to mimic her racing heartbeat. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_36

In two days, a demo was recorded to be produced by Columbia Records co-president Rick Rubin later that year. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_37

However, Adele re-approached Epworth months later to complete production of the song. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_38

British producer Fraser T Smith recalled following a similar trajectory when he teamed up with Adele to compose the subsequent third single "Set Fire to the Rain" at his MyAudiotonic Studios in London. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_39

After the two had created the demo, Adele revisited her co-writer to record the song with him, instead of the intended producer Rick Rubin. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_40

Smith thought Adele's first attempt superior to subsequent takes, and used the demo as the final production of the song, complete with live drum sounds and an elaborate strings section (arranged by British musician Rosie Danvers). 21 (Adele album)_sentence_41

With the demos to two songs recorded, Adele approached American musician and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, who was in London at the time for a radio show. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_42

Tedder had expressed interest in collaborating with the singer after they met at the 2009 Grammy Awards ceremony in February. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_43

He arrived four hours early to their first studio session, buying time to better familiarise himself with some of her previous work. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_44

Although unaware of Adele's personal predicament, he composed the opening piano sequence and first few lines to what became the lovelorn ballad "Turning Tables": "Close enough to start a war/All that I have is on the floor." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_45

Coincidentally, it perfectly captured the experience of the singer, who arrived at the studio moments after another altercation with her former lover. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_46

Angry and unfocused, she denounced her ex-lover's tendency to "turn the tables" on her during their arguments, an expression that Tedder decided to reference in the song's lyrics. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_47

Adele recorded the demo with Jim Abbiss the following day. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_48

Adele and Tedder arranged a second meeting and reconvened at Serenity West Studios in Los Angeles weeks later to write and record "Rumour Has It." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_49

In an interview, Tedder recalled his astonishment at the singer's musicality and vocal prowess after she completed the main vocals to the song in 10 minutes: "She sang it once top to bottom, pitch perfect, she didn't miss a note. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_50

I looked at the engineer then at her and said, 'Adele I don't know what to tell you but I have never had anyone do that in ten years'." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_51

Sessions with Rubin, Wells, and Wilson 21 (Adele album)_section_3

After working with Smith, Tedder, and Epworth, Adele travelled to the United States for the remainder of the album's production. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_52

At the suggestion of Columbia Records group president Ashley Newton, she met with songwriter Greg Wells at his studio in Culver City, Los Angeles, where they co-wrote the gospel-tinged ballad "One and Only." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_53

The song evolved from a four-chord piano progression in a 6/8-metre, which Wells had conceived before meeting with the singer. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_54

The lyrics, aimed at the singer's new love interest, came together quickly and were later completed with Dan Wilson, with whom she also composed "Someone like You." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_55

In 2008, Adele's appearance on the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live caught the attention of producer Rick Rubin. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_56

In the initial stage of the album's production Rubin had signed on as its sole producer, and was scheduled to produce all of its songs. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_57

The demos she had recorded with Epworth, Smith, and Tedder (including "Rolling in the Deep" and "Set Fire to the Rain") were subsequently rerecorded by Rubin when she met with him in his Shangri-La Studio in Malibu, California, in April 2010. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_58

Rubin, notorious for his unorthodox production style, pushed the singer beyond her comfort zone, and despite being drawn to his unconventional methods, Adele described working with the producer as daunting. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_59

Rubin had attended many of her shows throughout 2008–2009, and after a Hollywood Bowl performance, approached her to compliment her live sound. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_60

When they met in Malibu, he attempted to "capture her live show across on [her] record," assembling a team of musicians—including drummer Chris Dave, guitarist Matt Sweeney, James Poyser on piano, and Pino Palladino on bass—to contribute live instrumentation to the recording sessions. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_61

He also decided against the use of music samples and electronic instruments. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_62

An advocate of a more free-form approach to music-making, Rubin relied on the moods and feelings behind the music itself to guide the instrumental and melodic arrangement of the songs. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_63

He isolated the singer in the studio and encouraged her, as well as his team of musicians, to approach the production process with more spontaneity and less restraint. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_64

The singer even recalled moving the musicians and production team to tears while recording some of the songs. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_65

In an interview, he commented on the nature of the recording sessions: 21 (Adele album)_sentence_66

After recording the album with Rubin, Adele was dissatisfied with many of the songs. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_67

Ultimately, she decided to scrap most work done in favour of the early takes she did with other producers, including Epworth and Tedder, in order for the music to reflect the raw emotion felt immediately after her break-up. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_68

From her collaboration with Rubin, only five songs appeared on the album: "Don't You Remember," "He Won't Go," "I'll Be Waiting," "One and Only," as well as the U.S-only track "I Found a Boy." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_69

Weeks after her stint with Rubin, Adele learned of her ex-lover's recent engagement, inspiring the composition of the album's final track "Someone like You." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_70

Adele's record label was initially dissatisfied with the song's sparse production, which comprised Adele's voice alongside a sole piano, and requested that it be re-recorded with Rubin's band. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_71

However, the singer opted to keep the arrangement, stating that the song was personal to her and that she wrote it to "free herself." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_72

Titling 21 (Adele album)_section_4

Adele first intended to title the album Rolling in the Deep, her adaptation of the slang phrase "roll deep," which summarises how she felt about her relationship; in her loose translation, the phrase refers to having someone "that has your back" and always supports you. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_73

However, the singer later deemed the title too confusing for some of her audiences. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_74

Although she had wanted to avoid the number motif of her debut, Adele considered "21" the most fitting title as it represented her age at the time of the album's composition, serving as an autobiographical period piece, and symbolised the personal maturity and artistic evolution since her debut. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_75

Music and influence 21 (Adele album)_section_5

21 bears influences of Adele's extended exposure to the music of the Southern United States during the North American leg of her 2008–2009 tour An Evening with Adele. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_76

Frequent smoke breaks with her tour bus driver, a Nashville, Tennessee native, resulted in her introduction to bluegrass and rockabilly, and the music of Garth Brooks, Wanda Jackson, Alison Krauss, Lady Antebellum, Dolly Parton and Rascal Flatts. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_77

Adele developed an appreciation for the country genre, praising what she described as the immediacy of the themes and the straightforward narrative structure of many of the songs she listened to. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_78

She also expressed her enthusiasm at simply learning a new style of music. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_79

Although influenced by Adele's interest in country music at the time, 21 remains faithful to the Motown influences of 19 and exhibits both gospel and soul music inflections. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_80

Instruments such as the saxophone, harp, banjo and the accordion contributed to its exploration of blues and soul. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_81

The singer drew from the music of Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, Elbow, Mos Def, Alanis Morissette, Tom Waits, and Sinéad O'Connor in the cultivation of the album's sound, and credited Yvonne Fair, Andrew Bird, Neko Case, and The Steel Drivers with its musical direction. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_82

Adele's style on 21 is generally characterised by critics as soul, although some suggest that the album eschews any distinct stylistic epithet. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_83

John Murphy of musicOMH characterises the album as British soul. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_84

Jon Caramanica of The New York Times wrote that the album's music is a part of a recent British soul revival that "summoned styles dating back to Motown girl groups and Dusty Springfield." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_85

Ryan Reed of Paste calls Adele a "British alt-soul prodigy" and the album's music "the stuff of sensual modern pop-noir landscape, heavy on retro textures and relationship drama." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_86

Danyel Smith of Billboard views that Adele's music exhibits influences from Northern soul, Aretha Franklin, Sade, and Bette Midler. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_87

Larry Flick of SiriusXM called 21 "a pop record with soul leanings," while The Washington Post's Allion Stewart commented on the album's eclectic nature: "Everything on is precisely calibrated to transcend genres, to withstand trends ... 21 (Adele album)_sentence_88

It's slightly angled toward country, even more toward R&B," and "informed, but never overwhelmed, by roots music." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_89

Mike Spies of Slate argues that soul music is inextricably linked to the political, historical, and cultural experience of African Americans, and that Adele and her contemporaries, far removed from this socio-cultural milieu, can offer only a mere duplicate of actual "soul," despite a capacity to convincingly channel the sound. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_90

Songs 21 (Adele album)_section_6

The sequence of the tracks on the deeply autobiographical album correlate to the range of emotions Adele experienced after the break-up, progressing from themes of anger and bitterness, to feelings of loneliness, heartbreak and regret, and finally acceptance. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_91

The revenge song "Rolling in the Deep," a "dark, bluesy, gospel, disco tune" in the singer's own words, was written as a "fuck you" to her ex-lover after his disparaging remarks that she was weak and that her life without him would be "boring and lonely and rubbish." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_92

Opening with an understated acoustic guitar strum, the song's first lines set the foreboding tone of the album. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_93

Pounding martial beats, shuffling percussion, and piano coalesce into a dramatic, multilayered chorus over which "Adele's voice ranges, dramatizing her search for just the right tone and words to express her dismay that a man would dare break her heart." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_94

The first single from 21, "Rolling in the Deep" is one of the more apparent influences of the bluesy Americana music that framed the album's sound. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_95

"Rumour Has It," the singer's tongue-in-cheek retort to the hurtful gossip that surrounded her break-up, was aimed at her own friends for their part in spreading these rumours. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_96

Fusing elements of doo-wop and Tin Pan Alley blues, the percussion-driven song is built on girl-group harmonies, piano chords, pounding kick drum and handclaps, and finds the singer "channeling a '40s, piano-vixen lounge singer." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_97

Jon Caramanica of The New York Times pointed out the song's "hollow counterpoint vocals" and slow, "daringly morbid" bridge that veers from the pounding rhythm before once again acceding to it. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_98

In the studio, Tedder experimented with a riff inspired by Radiohead's "I Might Be Wrong," crediting the song's drop D tuning and American blues vibe as impetus for "Rumour Has It." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_99

In "Turning Tables," a song of domestic dispute, its narrator assumes a defensive stance against a manipulative ex-lover. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_100

Reconciling herself with the termination of a contentious relationship, she vows emotional distance to shield herself from future heartbreak. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_101

Bryan Boyd of The Irish Times likened the singer to 1980s Welsh rocker Bonnie Tyler in delivering the vocals with a mixture of anger, pain and pathos. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_102

According to Paste magazine, cinematic strings "serve as fitting counterpoint to [the song's] heartbroken, hollowed-out lyrics." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_103

The Rick Rubin-produced fourth track "Don't You Remember," co-written by Adele and Dan Wilson, marks a shift in the album's theme, from anger and defensiveness to reflection and heartbreak. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_104

A downtempo country music-styled ballad, the song was added late to the production of the album after the singer grew ashamed of her continued negative portrayal of her ex-lover throughout the album. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_105

Its lyrics entreat a past lover to remember the happier moments at the beginning of a now broken relationship. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_106

In "Set Fire to the Rain" the singer delineates the conflicting stages of a troubled union and wrestles with her inability to fully let go. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_107

Accentuated by ornate orchestral flourishes, swirling strings, crescendos, and dramatic vocal effects towards its climactic end, the song stands in stark contrast to the otherwise understated production of the album, and in reviews, was characterised by critics as a pop rock power ballad. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_108

To achieve a fuller sound, producer Fraser T Smith incorporated the popular "wall of sound" reverberative technique in framing the song's dense instrumentation. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_109

"Take It All," the seventh track, written and recorded with Francis "Eg" White and Jim Abbiss before the breakdown of Adele's relationship, is a piano and vocal ballad that borrows heavily from pop, soul and gospel. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_110

In his review of 21, Allmusic's Matt Collar called the song the album's centrepiece, "an instant-classic" in the same vein as "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," and "All by Myself," and a "cathartic moment for fans who identify with their idol's Pyrrhic lovelorn persona." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_111

The track precedes "I'll Be Waiting," the second of two songs produced by Epworth, which diverges from the scathing "Rolling in the Deep" in its optimistic tone and brisk, lilted melody. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_112

A protagonist's mea culpa for a relationship gone wrong, she declares to wait patiently for her lover's inevitable return. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_113

The song was compared to the work of Aretha Franklin for its "huge vocal sound on the chorus, rolling piano and boxy snare," while Tom Townshend of MSN Music described its brass section as a Rolling Stones-esque "barroom gospel." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_114

Although the album predominantly explores the singer's failed relationship, not all songs were geared towards her ex-lover. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_115

"He Won't Go," a nod to hip hop and contemporary R&B, was a tribute to a friend who battled heroin addiction. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_116

The ninth track "One and Only," noted for its gospel-tinged vocals, organ, and choir, was directed at a close friend for whom Adele shared romantic feelings. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_117

And "Lovesong" (a cover of a song by The Cure) was dedicated to Adele's mother and friends, in whom she found solace when she grew homesick and lonely while recording in Malibu. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_118

The album closes with the "heartbreak adagio" "Someone like You," a soft piano ballad that pairs Adele's vocals with a looping piano melody. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_119

In interviews, the singer described it as the summation of her attitude towards her ex-lover by the end of the album's production. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_120

The song's lyrics describe a protagonist's attempt at dealing with her heartbreak after she learns of her ex-lover's recent marriage and happy new life. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_121

Sean Fennessey of The Village Voice praised the singer's nuanced vocal performance in the song, which ascends "into a near-shrieked whisper" during parts of the chorus, after which she once again regains composure. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_122

One of the more commended songs on the album, "Someone like You" was praised for its lyrical depth and understated simplicity. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_123

Release and promotion 21 (Adele album)_section_7

For the North American release of 21 on 22 February, Columbia Records executives used the "'long tail' sales theory" to shape its marketing campaign, which, according to Columbia senior VP of marketing Scott Greer, entailed "building a critical mass throughout February in order to reach all those people who bought 19." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_124

Key to this was the record company approaching internet and media partners Vevo, AOL and VH1 to begin promoting Adele's old and new songs. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_125

In the months leading up to the European release of 21, Adele embarked on a promotional tour across Europe, performing on the UK's Royal Variety Performance on 9 December 2010, the finale of reality singing competition The Voice of Holland on 21 January 2011, and on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge on six days later. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_126

On 24 January 2011, during the week of the album's UK release, she performed an acoustic set of selected songs from 21 at London's Tabernacle music hall, which was screened live on her personal website. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_127

Adele performed "Someone like You" at the 2011 BRIT Awards ceremony, which was well received and resulted in a sales increase for both 19 and 21. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_128

From September to October 2010, Adele embarked on a mini-promotional tour of the US, which included stops in New York and Minneapolis, as well as an exclusive appearance at the famous Club Largo in Los Angeles. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_129

Although she did not use Twitter at the time, Columbia created an account that redirected followers to the singer's personal blog. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_130

Throughout February, Adele's personal site hosted a "21 Days of Adele" promotion, which featured exclusive daily content, including a live chat and a video of the singer explaining the inspiration for each album track. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_131

The week of release was also accompanied by a spate of television appearances on many American daytime and late-night talk shows, such as the Today Show on 18 February, Late Show with David Letterman on 21 February, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live! 21 (Adele album)_sentence_132

on 24 February. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_133

Adele performed "Someone like You" at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards ceremony. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_134

Adele embarked on her second concert tour Adele: Live in support of 21, scheduling more than 60 shows across Europe and North America. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_135

The shows received positive reviews, many of which noted the show's understated nature, the singer's vocal performance and her accessible persona. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_136

However, recurring health and vocal problems led to numerous alterations to the tour itinerary. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_137

The cancellation of the North American leg of the tour was due to a vocal haemorrhage on her vocal cords. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_138

The singer underwent corrective vocal surgery in November 2011 and cancelled all public appearances until February 2012. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_139

Adele performed "Rolling in the Deep" at the 2011 ECHO Awards, 2012 Grammy Awards and 2012 BRIT Awards ceremonies. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_140

21 yielded five singles in total, including four worldwide releases. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_141

The lead single "Rolling in the Deep" was released in November 2010, and peaked the charts in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_142

It became a top-ten hit in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, and Norway. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_143

Released in the UK on 16 January 2011, it peaked at number two. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_144

In the US, the song became "the most widely crossed over song of the past twenty-five years," appearing on a record 12 different Billboard charts (including the Rock Songs chart, R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and Hot Latin Songs charts). 21 (Adele album)_sentence_145

The song spent seven consecutive weeks at the top of the Hot 100, and was ranked the top song and the best-selling song of the year. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_146

"Someone like You" debuted at number 36 on the UK Singles Chart due to strong digital sales, and after falling to number 47, it ascended to number one when the singer performed it at the 2011 BRIT Awards. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_147

It peaked at number one in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Finland, France, Switzerland, and the US. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_148

"Set Fire to the Rain", the third single, topped the singles chart in the US, the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders), and reached the top five in Switzerland, Italy and Austria. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_149

"Rumour Has It" was confirmed as the fourth and final official US single from the album by Ryan Tedder at the Grammy Awards in 2012, and was released 1 March 2012. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_150

In some countries, "Turning Tables" was released as the fourth single. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_151

It was the fifth single to be released to US mainstream stations, although it received limited airplay due to an unofficial release. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_152

Even though "I'll Be Waiting" was never released as a single, it charted at No. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_153

29 on the US Triple A chart. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_154

Critical reception 21 (Adele album)_section_8

21 (Adele album)_table_general_0

Professional ratings21 (Adele album)_table_caption_0
Aggregate scores21 (Adele album)_header_cell_0_0_0
Source21 (Adele album)_header_cell_0_1_0 Rating21 (Adele album)_header_cell_0_1_1
AnyDecentMusic?21 (Adele album)_cell_0_2_0 7.1/1021 (Adele album)_cell_0_2_1
Metacritic21 (Adele album)_cell_0_3_0 76/10021 (Adele album)_cell_0_3_1
Review scores21 (Adele album)_header_cell_0_4_0
Source21 (Adele album)_header_cell_0_5_0 Rating21 (Adele album)_header_cell_0_5_1
AllMusic21 (Adele album)_cell_0_6_0 21 (Adele album)_cell_0_6_1
The Daily Telegraph21 (Adele album)_cell_0_7_0 21 (Adele album)_cell_0_7_1
Entertainment Weekly21 (Adele album)_cell_0_8_0 A−21 (Adele album)_cell_0_8_1
The Guardian21 (Adele album)_cell_0_9_0 21 (Adele album)_cell_0_9_1
The Independent21 (Adele album)_cell_0_10_0 21 (Adele album)_cell_0_10_1
NME21 (Adele album)_cell_0_11_0 6/1021 (Adele album)_cell_0_11_1
Pitchfork21 (Adele album)_cell_0_12_0 8.2/1021 (Adele album)_cell_0_12_1
Rolling Stone21 (Adele album)_cell_0_13_0 21 (Adele album)_cell_0_13_1
Spin21 (Adele album)_cell_0_14_0 8/1021 (Adele album)_cell_0_14_1
USA Today21 (Adele album)_cell_0_15_0 21 (Adele album)_cell_0_15_1

21 was met with overall positive reception. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_155

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 76, based on 34 reviews. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_156

In the Chicago Tribune, Greg Kot deemed the music an improvement over 19, writing that "21 beefs up the rhythmic drive and the drama of the arrangements." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_157

Simon Harper of Clash wrote, "[In] two years ... she's clearly seen the world. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_158

Where 19 marked the turbulent swan song to a teenage life, 21 introduces the realities of adult life, where grown-up responsibilities collide with heartache and emotional scars run deep." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_159

John Murphy of MusicOMH said that it shared the themes of "pain, sadness and anger" explored on Amy Winehouse's Back to Black (2006), while hailing 21 as "one of the great 'break-up' albums, and the first truly impressive record of 2011." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_160

Sputnikmusic's Joseph Viney stated that 21 combined the "best bits of Aretha Franklin's old-school soul with Lauryn Hill's sass and sense of cynical modern femininity." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_161

Sean Fennessey from The Village Voice wrote that the album "has a diva's stride and a diva's purpose. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_162

With a touch of sass and lots of grandeur, it's an often magical thing that insists on its importance ... the line here between melodrama and pathos is wafer-thin, and Adele toes it deftly. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_163

It's what separates her from her contemporaries in the mid-'00s wave of British white-girl r&b-dom." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_164

Q commented that, despite a "slightly scattershot quality ... greatness is tantalizingly within reach." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_165

In The New York Times, Jon Pareles applauded the singer's emotive timbre, comparing her to Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, and Annie Lennox: "[Adele] can seethe, sob, rasp, swoop, lilt and belt, in ways that draw more attention to the song than to the singer." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_166

Ryan Reed of Paste regarded her voice as "a raspy, aged-beyond-its-years thing of full-blooded beauty," while MSN Music's Tom Townshend declared her "the finest singer of [our] generation." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_167

Matthew Cole from Slant Magazine was less impressed, believing Adele's vocals masked the "blandness" of many of the songs, a fault that he said would have been more apparent had they been performed by a lesser talent. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_168

Allison Stewart of The Washington Post claimed that many tracks were remarkable "only because Adele is singing them." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_169

Robert Christgau gave the album a two-star honourable mention in his consumer guide for MSN Music, writing that "part of me likes how many albums this proud white-soul normal has sold, but the part that likes fast ones wins." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_170

Commercial performance 21 (Adele album)_section_9

21 debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart on 30 January 2011 with first-week sales of 208,000 copies. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_171

While in its fourth consecutive week at number one, Adele performed "Someone like You" at the 2011 BRIT Awards, resulting in a sales surge of 890 percent on Amazon.co.uk within an hour of the show's broadcast. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_172

19 climbed to number four on the UK Albums Chart, making Adele the first living act since The Beatles in 1964 to have two UK top five albums and singles simultaneously. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_173

A week later, 19 rose to number 2 in its 102nd week of release, this made Adele the first act to occupy the chart's top two spots since The Corrs in 1999. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_174

21 achieved separate consecutive number-one spells during its 2011 chart run on the UK Albums Chart, claiming the top spot for 11 straight weeks between February and April 2011, then for five consecutive weeks between April and June, and then for another two weeks in July 2011. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_175

It amassed 23 weeks at number one to date. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_176

Midway through 2012, 21 was the best-selling album of the year despite being released in early 2011. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_177

In December 2012, 21 overtook Oasis' (What's the Story) Morning Glory? 21 (Adele album)_sentence_178

to become the fourth best-selling album of all time in the UK. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_179

By December 2012, 21 had spent 101 weeks in the UK Albums Chart Top 75, including 95 weeks in the Top 40, 76 weeks in the Top 10 and 23 weeks at number one. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_180

It has sold over 5.08 million copies as of May 2018, making the biggest selling album since 2000 in the UK, and fourth biggest seller of all time there. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_181

Album has sold over 5.11 million copies as of October 2018, making the second biggest selling studio album in the UK, and fourth biggest seller of all time. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_182

Globally, 21 is the best-selling album of the past decade according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, and topped the charts in more than 30 countries. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_183

In July 2012, the album was certified decuple platinum by the IFPI, denoting sales of ten million copies across Europe, making it the highest-certified album in Europe since the IFPI Platinum Europe award was launched in 1996. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_184

The album lodged 35 weeks atop the Irish Albums Chart, the longest in the chart's history, and sold over 270,000 copies. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_185

Charting 124 weeks in Finland from early 2011 to summer of 2013 (with 11 weeks atop) and re-entering in early 2014, 21 became the second-longest-charting album of all time in the country behind Keskiviikko... 40 ensimmäistä hittiä by Leevi and the Leavings. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_186

21 spent 32 weeks at number-one on the Australian ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart, 10 of which were consecutive. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_187

Adele also replicated her UK chart record when she achieved two titles in the top five of the ARIA Album and Singles chart simultaneously. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_188

In December 2012, it was announced that 21 was nearing sales of one million in Australia. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_189

This makes 21 only the seventh album to ever achieve this feat in Australia and the first to do so since Delta Goodrem's Innocent Eyes. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_190

On the New Zealand RIANZ Albums Chart, 21 debuted at number-one in January 2011, and spent 28 weeks at the summit in 2011. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_191

Except for a single week at number six on the week ending 21 November 2011, the album remained in the top five for 70 consecutive weeks. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_192

Its 38 accumulated weeks at the top is the longest in New Zealand chart history. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_193

Released 22 February in the US, 21 debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 352,000 copies. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_194

The album remained in the top three for its first 24 weeks, the top five for a record 39 consecutive weeks, and the top 10 for a total of 84 weeks. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_195

That staggering sum ties the album with Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. for the second-most weeks in the region. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_196

21 became the best-selling digital album of all time in the US, selling 1.879 million copies by January 2012. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_197

On 17 May 2012, 21 became the 29th album since 1991 to sell over 9 million copies in the United States and became the first album in the United States to sell that amount since Usher's Confessions reached sales of 9 million in 2005. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_198

By November 2012, it had sold 10 million copies, a feat achieved in 92 weeks, making it the fastest album to sell 10 million since 'N Sync's No Strings Attached in 2001. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_199

In February 2015, it was announced that the album had spent 208 straight weeks, or four years, on the Billboard 200 chart, spending only 24 of those weeks outside the Top 100. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_200

As of January 2020, 21 has sold 12 million copies in the United States, becoming the ninth largest-selling album since Nielsen Music started tracking sales in 1991 and best selling album of the 2010s decade. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_201

The album's performance on the Billboard 200 chart earned 21 the distinction of all-time number one album on the chart, according to a summary performed by Billboard in November 2015. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_202

In Spring 2017, the album broke the record for the longest-charting album by a female artist on the Billboard 200, surpassing Tapestry by Carole King. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_203

In February 2019, 21 has been listed on the Billboard 200 album chart for 400 non-consecutive weeks. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_204

It is the first album by a female artist to reach this milestone and the twelfth overall. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_205

21 also became the first album by a woman to reach 450 weeks on the Billboard 200 Chart in February 2020. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_206

In Canada, 21 spent 28 weeks at number one, and was certified diamond in January 2012 by Music Canada for shipment of 800,000 copies of the album. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_207

21 had sold over 1.489 million copies by January 2013, making it the third best-selling album in Canada, since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking sales. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_208

Accolades 21 (Adele album)_section_10

The album was nominated for the 2011 Barclaycard Mercury Prize but lost to Let England Shake by PJ Harvey. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_209

In November 2011, Adele won three American Music Awards including Favorite Pop/Rock Album for 21 at the American Music Awards of 2011. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_210

At the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, the singer was nominated for twenty categories, winning record-breaking twelve, including Top Billboard 200 Album and Top Pop Album for 21 and Top Streaming Song (Audio) for "Rolling in the Deep". 21 (Adele album)_sentence_211

In May 2013, Adele receive five nominations at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, including Top Billboard 200 Album and Top Pop Album for 21 two years in a row, she winning the latter award. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_212

Adele has seven Grammys for the album, in February 2012 she won the Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for 21, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video for "Rolling in the Deep," and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Someone like You" at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_213

In addition, her producer Paul Epworth won Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_214

Adele, who was named Best New Artist in 2009, is only the second artist and first female in history to take all four major Grammy categories. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_215

Christopher Cross attained the feat in 1981 with a four-award sweep. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_216

She is only the eighth artist in Grammy history to win six or more awards in one night and match the record among female artists set by Beyoncé in 2010. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_217

With her wins, Adele became only the sixth artist to win "Grammy's Triple Crown" in one night. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_218

At age 23, she is the youngest artist at the time to do this. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_219

That record was later broken by Billie Eilish when she was 18 years old while winning "big four" Grammys in one night at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_220

Also, Adele is only the second female solo artist to do it, following Carole King in 1972, and only the second British artist, after Eric Clapton in 1993. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_221

In February 2013, a live rendition of the album's third single "Set Fire to the Rain," included on Live at the Royal Albert Hall, won the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, making her the first artist who wins consecutive in this category. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_222

On 21 February 2012, 21 won the British Album of the Year at the 2012 BRIT Awards. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_223

It also won the International Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2012. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_224

21 (Adele album)_table_general_1

Year21 (Adele album)_header_cell_1_0_0 Ceremony21 (Adele album)_header_cell_1_0_1 Category21 (Adele album)_header_cell_1_0_2 Result21 (Adele album)_header_cell_1_0_3 Ref.21 (Adele album)_header_cell_1_0_4
201121 (Adele album)_header_cell_1_1_0 American Music Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_1_1 Favorite Pop/Rock Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_1_2 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_1_3 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_1_4
AIM Independent Music Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_2_0 Best "Difficult" Second Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_2_1 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_2_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_2_3
Danish Music Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_3_0 International Album of the Year21 (Adele album)_cell_1_3_1 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_3_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_3_3
GAFFA Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_4_0 Best Foreign Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_4_1 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_4_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_4_3
Independent Music Companies Association21 (Adele album)_cell_1_5_0 European Independent Album of the Year21 (Adele album)_cell_1_5_1 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_5_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_5_3
Mercury Prize21 (Adele album)_cell_1_6_0 Album of the Year21 (Adele album)_cell_1_6_1 Nominated21 (Adele album)_cell_1_6_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_6_3
MOBO Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_7_0 Best Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_7_1 Nominated21 (Adele album)_cell_1_7_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_7_3
Soul Train Music Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_8_0 Album of the Year21 (Adele album)_cell_1_8_1 Nominated21 (Adele album)_cell_1_8_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_8_3
Urban Music Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_9_0 Best Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_9_1 Nominated21 (Adele album)_cell_1_9_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_9_3
201221 (Adele album)_header_cell_1_10_0 Billboard Music Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_10_1 Top Billboard 200 Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_10_2 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_10_3 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_10_4
Top Pop Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_11_0 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_11_1
Brit Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_12_0 British Album of the Year21 (Adele album)_cell_1_12_1 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_12_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_12_3
ECHO Music Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_13_0 Album of the Year21 (Adele album)_cell_1_13_1 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_13_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_13_3
Fryderyk21 (Adele album)_cell_1_14_0 Best International Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_14_1 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_14_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_14_3
Grammis Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_15_0 Best International Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_15_1 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_15_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_15_3
Grammy Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_16_0 Album of the Year21 (Adele album)_cell_1_16_1 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_16_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_16_3
Best Pop Vocal Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_17_0 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_17_1
Guinness World Records21 (Adele album)_cell_1_18_0 First album in UK chart history to reach sales of three million in a calendar year21 (Adele album)_cell_1_18_1 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_18_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_18_3
Most consecutive weeks with UK No.1 album by a solo female (11)21 (Adele album)_cell_1_19_0 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_19_1
Most cumulative weeks with UK No.1 album by a solo female (18)21 (Adele album)_cell_1_20_0 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_20_1
Biggest-selling digital album in the UK21 (Adele album)_cell_1_21_0 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_21_1 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_21_2
Biggest-selling digital album in the US21 (Adele album)_cell_1_22_0 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_22_1
Ivor Novello Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_23_0 Album of the Year21 (Adele album)_cell_1_23_1 Nominated21 (Adele album)_cell_1_23_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_23_3
Juno Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_24_0 International Album of the Year21 (Adele album)_cell_1_24_1 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_24_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_24_3
People's Choice Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_25_0 Favourite Album of the Year21 (Adele album)_cell_1_25_1 Nominated21 (Adele album)_cell_1_25_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_25_3
Premios Oye!21 (Adele album)_cell_1_26_0 Best English Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_26_1 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_26_2 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_26_3
201321 (Adele album)_header_cell_1_27_0 Billboard Music Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_27_1 Top Billboard 200 Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_27_2 Nominated21 (Adele album)_cell_1_27_3 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_27_4
Top Pop Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_28_0 Won21 (Adele album)_cell_1_28_1
201421 (Adele album)_header_cell_1_29_0 World Music Awards21 (Adele album)_cell_1_29_1 World's Best Album21 (Adele album)_cell_1_29_2 Nominated21 (Adele album)_cell_1_29_3 21 (Adele album)_cell_1_29_4

Impact and response 21 (Adele album)_section_11

The album's success has been attributed to its cross-cultural appeal, which has catered to fans of various genres of pop, adult contemporary and R&B, as well as various generations and musical timelines. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_225

According to Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker the album's success in the US can be attributed to its target audience—that is, "middle-aged moms ... the demographic that decides American elections." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_226

Critics also suggest that the album's understated musical production and relative lack of artifice are striking deviations from the "bombastic theatrics" of the mainstream music industry. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_227

Ethan Smith of The Wall Street Journal found that Adele's "deliberately unflashy" nature, full figure, and "everywoman" appeal gave her a lucrative niche in the market, while her tendency to emphasise "substance over style" made her the "Anti-Lady Gaga." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_228

Guy Adams of The Independent argued that 21's success signals the re-emergence of the more traditional approach to commercial success: 21 (Adele album)_sentence_229

With the release of 21, critics began to tout Adele as the new torchbearer for the British soul music that ascended to the American mainstream via Duffy, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_230

Although the initial popularity of these artists in the early 2000s incited the media to declare a "new wave of British invasion," Joseph Viney of Sputnikmusic saw their subsequent absence as an opportunity for Adele to "stake her claim as the UK's leading solo female artist." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_231

John Murphy of MusicOMH declared the album "a timely reminder that British soul hasn't lost its mojo." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_232

Indie label XL Recordings founder Richard Russell discussed what be believed to be the quasi-subversiveness of 21's chart dominance. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_233

Characterising the success of 21 as "almost political and sort of radical," Russell stated that the lack of gimmicks in Adele's music undermined the widespread perception that female performers have to conform to specific body-types, or imbue their music with gratuitous sexual imagery, in order attain success. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_234

Legacy 21 (Adele album)_section_12

In September 2011, Adele claimed Guinness World Records for becoming the first female artist to have two singles and two albums in the UK top five simultaneously. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_235

21 also became the first album in UK chart history to reach sales of three million copies in a calendar year, and set records for the most consecutive weeks with a UK number-one album (solo female) with 11 weeks (overtaking Madonna's 1990 compilation The Immaculate Collection), and the most cumulative weeks at number one (solo female) in the UK. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_236

"21" sold 4 million copies by February 2012 and by March, it had been certified 16-times platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for shipments of 4,500,000 units, the highest ever certified album in the UK. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_237

It is also the most downloaded album in UK history, the biggest-selling album of the 21st century in the UK, and the 4th best selling album in the UK of all time. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_238

Sales of 21 helped increase XL Recordings', Adele's record label, bank balance from £3million to £32million in the space of 12 months. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_239

In late November 2012, 21 fell out of the Top 40 of the UK Albums Chart for the first time since its release in January 2011. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_240

With 21, Adele became the first female to have three singles simultaneously in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_241

In the week ending 23 February 2012, she also became the first female artist to place two titles in the top five of both the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 concurrently, with 21 and 19 occupying number one and number four on the Billboard 200 respectively, and "Set Fire to the Rain" and "Rolling in the Deep" at number two and five respectively. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_242

On 14 June 2012, 21 scored its 24th week atop the US album charts, the longest since Prince's Purple Rain finished a non-consecutive 24-week run in 1985. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_243

The album is also the longest-running number-one by a UK studio album (excluding soundtracks and group acts), the longest-running number-one album by a female solo artist ever in the US (surpassing the Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard (soundtrack) and the longest-running number-one in the SoundScan era. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_244

The album also spent 24 non-consecutive weeks at number 2. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_245

21 is credited with saving the first quarter album sales of 2012 in the United States. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_246

Without 21, the first quarter of 2012 would have been down 3.4% compared to the first quarter of 2011. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_247

21 sold more copies in the first quarter of 2012 than any album since 2005 and is the oldest album to be the best-selling album in the first quarter of the year since No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom in 1997. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_248

On 28 November 2012, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it Diamond after having sold more than 10 million copies in the United States alone; it is the first album released in the 2010s to achieve Diamond certification. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_249

In December 2012, it was announced that 21 was the best-selling album on iTunes for two years in a row. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_250

21 was the best-selling album of both 2011 and 2012 in the United States and Canada despite being over a year old. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_251

It is the first album to be the best-selling album two years in a row since Michael Jackson's Thriller was the best-selling album of 1983 and 1984. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_252

Despite being over a year old, 21 sold more copies in 2012 than the best-selling albums of 2006 through 2010 sold in their respective years. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_253

It is also one of only four albums in the Nielsen SoundScan era to sell over 4 million copies in each of two calendar years. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_254

Due to these successes, Billboard declared Adele the Artist of the Year for the second year in a row, making her the first solo female artist to receive the honour twice. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_255

In February 2013, it was announced that 21 had spent two full years on the Billboard 200, never charting lower than number 35 on the chart. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_256

This makes 21 the best-selling album of the past 10 years and the fifth best-selling album released since January 2000. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_257

In March 2013, after Adele won an Academy Award for "Skyfall," the album reentered the Top 10 of the Billboard 200. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_258

This marked the album's 81st week in the Top 10. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_259

Only two other albums have spent as much time in the Top 10: Born in the U.S.A. and The Sound of Music. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_260

In November 2013, it was announced that 21 had become the first album to sell three million digital copies in the United States and that the album is the 13th best-selling overall in the United States since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_261

In November 2019, 21 crowns the Billboard 200's decade-end chart as best selling album of the 2010s. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_262

In December 2019, 21 has been unveiled by the Official Charts Company the decade's best seller, with 5.17 million chart sales, tops 100 biggest albums of the 2010s in UK. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_263

In January 2020, 21 was announced as bigest album of the 2010s in Australia. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_264

21 was ranked as the number one album of all time on the Billboard Top 200 Albums of All Time. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_265

21 appeared on many year-end best-of lists. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_266

Metacritic ranked 21 at number two on their list of 2011's most well-received records, based on inclusions in publications' year-end lists. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_267

The album was ranked the best album of the year by the Associated Press, The Austin Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly, Star Tribune, Digital Spy, MSN Music, New York Daily News, Rolling Stone, TIME magazine, and editors of USA Today. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_268

Critics at Billboard voted the album number-one of the year, while Scottish newspaper the Daily Record, editors of Amazon and the editors at Rhapsody also ranked the album at number one. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_269

The album appeared in the runner-up spot on MTV's list of the Best Albums of 2011 as well as lists produced by The Boston Globe, The Hollywood Reporter and Toronto Sun. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_270

It placed within the top 10 on lists produced by American Songwriter, Q, Los Angeles Times, Clash, and The Washington Post. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_271

"Rolling in the Deep" consistently placed high on various year-end critics' list, and was ranked the best song of the year in The Village Voice's Pazz and Jop mass critics' poll. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_272

In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album number six on its list of Women Who Rock: The 50 Greatest Albums of All Time. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_273

As of January 2015, Billboard named 21 as the third best album of the 2010s (so far). 21 (Adele album)_sentence_274

The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_275

In 2019, Rolling Stone, Consequence of Sound, Cleveland.com, and Paste named it the 8th, 19th, 47th, and 55th best album of the 2010s, respectively. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_276

Consequence of Sound also named it the fifth best pop album of the 2010s. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_277

In 2020, the album was ranked at 137 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_278

Consequence of Sound ranked the album at number seven on their list of "The 10 Greatest Second Albums of All Time." 21 (Adele album)_sentence_279

21's commercial success effectively transformed Adele's image from a blue-eyed soul singer-songwriter to a global pop phenomenon. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_280

Entertainment Weekly considered it the record representing the year of 2011 on their 2020 list of the "30 essential albums from the last 30 years". 21 (Adele album)_sentence_281

Track listing 21 (Adele album)_section_13

21 (Adele album)_description_list_0

21 (Adele album)_unordered_list_1

Personnel 21 (Adele album)_section_14

Adapted from AllMusic and 21's liner notes. 21 (Adele album)_sentence_282

Production 21 (Adele album)_sentence_283

Music 21 (Adele album)_sentence_284

Charts 21 (Adele album)_section_15

Weekly charts 21 (Adele album)_section_16

21 (Adele album)_table_general_2

Chart (2011–12)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_0_0 Peak

position21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_0_1

Argentine Albums (CAPIF)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_1_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_1_1
Australian Albums (ARIA)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_2_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_2_1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_3_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_3_1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_4_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_4_1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_5_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_5_1
Brazilian Albums (ABPD)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_6_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_6_1
Canadian Albums (Billboard)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_7_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_7_1
Croatian Albums (HDU)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_8_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_8_1
Czech Albums (IFPI)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_9_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_9_1
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_10_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_10_1
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_11_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_11_1
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_12_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_12_1
French Albums (SNEP)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_13_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_13_1
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_14_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_14_1
Greek Albums (IFPI)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_15_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_15_1
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_16_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_16_1
Irish Albums (IRMA)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_17_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_17_1
Italian Albums (FIMI)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_18_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_18_1
Japanese Albums (Oricon)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_19_0 421 (Adele album)_cell_2_19_1
Mexican Albums (Top 100 Mexico)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_20_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_20_1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_21_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_21_1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_22_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_22_1
Polish Albums (ZPAV)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_23_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_23_1
Portuguese Albums (AFP)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_24_0 321 (Adele album)_cell_2_24_1
Russian Albums Chart21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_25_0 221 (Adele album)_cell_2_25_1
Scottish Albums (OCC)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_26_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_26_1
Slovenian Albums Chart21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_27_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_27_1
South African Albums (RiSA)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_28_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_28_1
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_29_0 221 (Adele album)_cell_2_29_1
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_30_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_30_1
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_31_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_31_1
UK Albums (OCC)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_32_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_32_1
UK Independent Albums (OCC)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_33_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_33_1
US Billboard 20021 (Adele album)_header_cell_2_34_0 121 (Adele album)_cell_2_34_1

Year-end charts 21 (Adele album)_section_17

Certifications and sales 21 (Adele album)_section_18

21 (Adele album)_table_general_3

Region21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_0_0 Certification21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_0_1 Certified units/sales21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_0_2
Argentina (CAPIF)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_1_0 4× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_1_1 160,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_1_2
Australia (ARIA)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_2_0 17× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_2_1 1,190,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_2_2
Austria (IFPI Austria)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_3_0 Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_3_1 20,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_3_2
Belgium (BEA)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_4_0 6× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_4_1 180,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_4_2
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_5_0 3× Diamond21 (Adele album)_cell_3_5_1 480,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_5_2
Canada (Music Canada)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_6_0 2× Diamond21 (Adele album)_cell_3_6_1 1,600,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_6_2
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_7_0 8× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_7_1 160,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_7_2
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_8_0 2× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_8_1 83,23421 (Adele album)_cell_3_8_2
France (SNEP)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_9_0 Diamond21 (Adele album)_cell_3_9_1 1,816,80021 (Adele album)_cell_3_9_2
Germany (BVMI)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_10_0 8× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_10_1 1,600,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_10_2
Greece (IFPI Greece)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_11_0 Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_11_1 6,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_11_2
Hungary (MAHASZ)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_12_0 Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_12_1 6,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_12_2
Ireland (IRMA)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_13_0 18× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_13_1 270,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_13_2
Italy (FIMI)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_14_0 8× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_14_1 480,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_14_2
Japan (RIAJ)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_15_0 Gold21 (Adele album)_cell_3_15_1 100,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_15_2
Mexico (AMPROFON)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_16_0 3× Platinum+Diamond21 (Adele album)_cell_3_16_1 480,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_16_2
Netherlands (NVPI)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_17_0 4× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_17_1 200,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_17_2
New Zealand (RMNZ)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_18_0 13× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_18_1 195,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_18_2
Norway (IFPI Norway)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_19_0 Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_19_1 30,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_19_2
Poland (ZPAV)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_20_0 2× Diamond21 (Adele album)_cell_3_20_1 200,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_20_2
Portugal (AFP)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_21_0 2× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_21_1 40,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_21_2
Russia (NFPF)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_22_0 Gold21 (Adele album)_cell_3_22_1 5,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_22_2
South Korea21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_23_0 21 (Adele album)_cell_3_23_1 9,93221 (Adele album)_cell_3_23_2
Spain (PROMUSICAE)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_24_0 5× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_24_1 300,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_24_2
Sweden (GLF)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_25_0 3× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_25_1 120,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_25_2
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_26_0 7× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_26_1 210,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_26_2
United Kingdom (BPI)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_27_0 17× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_27_1 5,920,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_27_2
United States (RIAA)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_28_0 14× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_28_1 14,000,000/12,009,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_28_2
Summaries21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_29_0
Europe (IFPI)21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_30_0 10× Platinum21 (Adele album)_cell_3_30_1 10,000,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_30_2
Worldwide21 (Adele album)_header_cell_3_31_0 21 (Adele album)_cell_3_31_1 31,000,00021 (Adele album)_cell_3_31_2
sales figures based on certification alone

shipments figures based on certification alone sales+streaming figures based on certification alone21 (Adele album)_cell_3_32_0

Release history 21 (Adele album)_section_19

21 (Adele album)_table_general_4

Region21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_0_0 Release date21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_0_1 Format21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_0_2 Label21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_0_3
Japan21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_1_0 19 January 201121 (Adele album)_cell_4_1_1 21 (Adele album)_cell_4_1_2 Hostess21 (Adele album)_cell_4_1_3
Germany21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_2_0 21 January 201121 (Adele album)_cell_4_2_1 XL21 (Adele album)_cell_4_2_2
Ireland21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_3_0
Australia21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_4_0 24 January 201121 (Adele album)_cell_4_4_1
Austria21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_5_0
Finland21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_6_0
Netherlands21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_7_0
Switzerland21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_8_0
United Kingdom21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_9_0 21 (Adele album)_cell_4_9_1
Poland21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_10_0
France21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_11_0 21 (Adele album)_cell_4_11_1
United States21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_12_0 22 February 201121 (Adele album)_cell_4_12_1 Columbia21 (Adele album)_cell_4_12_2
Canada21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_13_0
Mexico21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_14_0 5 April 201121 (Adele album)_cell_4_14_1 21 (Adele album)_cell_4_14_2 Sony Mexico21 (Adele album)_cell_4_14_3
China21 (Adele album)_header_cell_4_15_0 7 March 201321 (Adele album)_cell_4_15_1 CD21 (Adele album)_cell_4_15_2 Starsing21 (Adele album)_cell_4_15_3

See also 21 (Adele album)_section_20

21 (Adele album)_unordered_list_2

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21 (Adele album).