Bieber tops One Direction on Billboard chart, but Adele on the horizon

Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:49pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Canadian pop star Justin Bieber edged out British boy band One Direction in a battle to the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart on Monday, but his reign will be short-lived as British singer Adele looks to break records with her new release.

"Purpose," the fourth studio album by Bieber, sold 520,000 albums, 602,000 songs and was streamed 100 million times in its first week, totaling 649,000 units, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

It is Bieber's best-selling debut in his career so far. One Direction's "Made in the A.M." sold 459,000 units in its first week, landing at No. 2.

Adele's "25," released on Friday, won't officially enter the Billboard charts until next week, but Billboard said Saturday that the album sold more than 900,000 copies on Apple Inc's iTunes store in its first day.

The current first week U.S. sales record is held by boy band NSync's 2000 record "No Strings Attached," which opened with 2.4 million copies.

On the Digital Songs chart, which measures online download sales, Adele's heartbreak ballad "Hello" held onto the top spot with another 327,000 copies sold this week.

As album sales have dropped drastically due to the rise in online streaming, it's increasingly rare for an artist to top 1 million copies sold in the first week. Taylor Swift was the last artist to achieve the milestone, with her "1989" album opening with 1.29 million last year.

Both Bieber and One Direction set new streaming records on Spotify last week with their latest albums.   Continued...

Singer Justin Bieber arrives at the 2015 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California November 22, 2015.  REUTERS/David McNew