It was a good year for Adele, Bad Bunny and vinyl

New data from the music industry confirms what many people suspected for a long time, 2021 was a very good year for Bad Bunny, Morgan Wallen, Adele and vinyl.

MRC Data’s year-end report, presented in collaboration with Billboard, shows that Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” ended 2021 as the most popular country album and the most popular among all genres in the United States with the equivalent to 3.2 million album units sold during the year.

This despite Wallen being shunned by the music industry after a video surfaced of him uttering a racist slur. The artist was dropped by his record label, disqualified from the Country Academy Awards, and his music was temporarily pulled from radio stations and streaming services.

Bad Bunny’s “The Last Tour of the World” was the most popular album in the Latin music category. In addition to being the first Spanish-language album to dominate the weekly Billboard 200 chart, it had the equivalent of 853,900 album units sold in 2021. Bad Bunny was also the top Latin artist in 2020 with “YHLQMDLG.” His song “Dákiti” with Jhay Cortez was the most consumed and with the greatest presence on the radio in 2021.

Other top albums of the year include Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR,” Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” and Doja Cat’s “Planet Her.” Dua Lipa’s single “Levitating” was unstoppable, with 804.7 million units of on-demand audio and video streams, is the biggest hit of the year.

Adele’s album “30” earned her her biggest album sales in four years, with its first week selling 839,000 equivalent units. It was the best-selling album upon release since Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” in 2017. Adele’s previous album, 2015’s “25,” still holds the record for most albums sold in a single week with 3.38 million copies. .

Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” was the most popular rap album of 2021 in the United States, with the equivalent of 1.97 million album units. Masked Wolf’s “Astronaut in the Ocean” was the most consumed rap song of 2021.

And in this digital age, on-demand audio streaming hit an annual high of 988.1 billion streams. At the same time there was a great retro feel: Vinyl sales overtook CD as the best-selling physical format for the first time since MRC Data began measuring music sales in 1991.

Physical vinyl sales totaled less than 2% in 2011, but ended 2021 with more than half of physical album sales totaling 41.7 million albums.

The data showed that streaming of new music declined in volume from year to year, an accelerating trend that started in streaming during the first COVID-19 waves and shutdowns “when music fans turned to their old favorites to listening to music out of nostalgia,” the report states.

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It was a good year for Adele, Bad Bunny and vinyl


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