Entertainment

Wallen, Adele, and vinyl had a wonderful year in 2021.

New music business statistics verifies what many have long suspected: Morgan Wallen, Adele, and vinyl had a banner year in 2021.

New music business statistics verifies what many have long suspected: Morgan Wallen, Adele, and vinyl had a banner year in 2021.

With 3.2 million equivalent album units generated over the year, according to MRC Data’s year-end report, issued in partnership with Billboard, Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” ended 2021 as both the top country album of the year and the most popular album across all genres.

Despite the fact that Wallen was chastised by the music industry after a video surfaced showing him making a racial slur, he continues to perform. His record label dropped him, he was disqualified from the Academy of Country Songs Awards, and his music was pulled from the airwaves for a while.

Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR,” Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon,” and Doja Cat’s “Planet Her” are among the year’s best-selling albums. With 804.7 million on-demand audio and video streaming, Dua Lipa’s single “Levitating” was the year’s biggest success.

Adele’s album “30” was released late last year, and it had the best first-week sales debut in four years, with 839,000 equivalent units sold in its first week. Since Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” in 2017, it was the best-selling debut album. With 3.38 million copies sold in a single week, Adele’s last album, “25,” still maintains the record for most albums sold in a single week.

With 1.97 million equivalent album units, Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” was the most popular rap album in the United States in 2021. The most popular rap song of 2021 was Masked Wolf’s “Astronaut in the Ocean.” The top Latin album was Bad Bunny’s “El ultimo Tour Del Mundo.”

In this digital age, where audio on-demand streaming surpassed CDs as the most-sold physical format for the first time since MRC Data began tracking music sales in 1991, there was also a big step back in time: Vinyl sales surpassed CDs as the most-sold physical format for the first time since MRC Data began tracking music sales in 1991.

Vinyl’s proportion of physical sales was less than 2% in 2011, but by 2021, it had accounted for more than half of all physical record sales, totaling 41.7 million albums.

The data also revealed that new music streaming volume decreased year over year, accelerating a trend that began with the first waves of COVID-19 lockdowns, “as music enthusiasts gravitated to old favorites for nostalgia listening,” according to the research.

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