The last ten years has seen some amazing albums come and go – but what artists can be called the best of the best?
Pop music is nothing if not efficient. Identifying its audience from the outset, it strives to give you exactly what you want, and lots of it. It’s no surprise then, that the last ten years have seen the dominance of artists with established fanbases rake in the money all while expanding their swollen followings even more.
Without further ado, let’s take a gander at the top albums of the last 10 years – oh, and spoiler alert: if you don’t have a shrine built to Adele by now, start building.
Kicking things off in 2006, High School Music ripped everyone’s attention to happy-go-lucky teens singing their woes away over just how hard and tough high school can be. For whatever reason, the franchise struck gold and saw itself sell 3.7 million copies of the soundtrack.
Mercifully bucking the trend, 2007 saw the rise of Josh Groban and his Christmas-themed album “Noel”. As much as we’d like to call Groban’s work a shoe-in for capitalizing on the year’s most expensive holiday, props must be given where they are deserved – and with Groban’s 3.7 million in sales, he’s more than deserved them.
Taking a hard break from the soft and frilly tracks over the previous two albums, Lil Wayne saw himself take the crown for highest album sales in 2008 with the release of The Carter III. Wayne’s idiosyncratic sound and bad-boy attitude catapulted him to the height of rap stardom – run-ins with the law notwithstanding.
2009 saw a one-year turn away from hip-hop with Taylor Swift’s “Fearless”, with 3.2 million sales, only to be topped by hip-hop legend Eminem’s 2010 album “Recovery” – which cashed in 3.4 million albums sold.
But now, as promised, we’ve reached the point where we need to start paying tribute to the Goddess of album sales – Adele. Adele’s “21” took the spot of the best-selling album not one, but two years in a row. Charting 5.8 million sales in 2011 and 4.4 million in 2012, Adele had stamped her claim on the music industry – and her fans were desperate for more.
During the interim until her next album, Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift made little splashes with “The 20/20 Experience” and “1989” respectively. We’d stop and reflect upon their sales if it wasn’t for the bombshell that Adele dropped in 2015 with “25”.
The work shattered records, selling 8 million copies, it propelled itself so high to the top of charts that even Drake’s long-anticipated “Views” couldn’t reach the bar that the London-based singer placed.
It’s only a matter of time until someone comes along and topples the record set by “25”, but if history is any indicator, it seems that Adele herself is the only one capable of toppling the record of her past accomplishments.