To no one's surprise, Adele's 21 and "Rolling in the Deep" have been named iTunes' best-selling 2011 album and single. The Apple music service's 2011 tally is fairly predictable, as all the usual suspects — Lady Gaga, Watch the Throne, Katy Perry, "Moves Like Jagger" —show up. But the story of the year continues to be Adele, who became the first artist to capture iTunes' big three awards: Artist of the Year, Top-Selling Album, and Top-Selling Song.
The weirdest iTunes stat: Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More, an album that was released stateside in February 2010, was the No. 2 seller of 2011, quietly beating out Jay-Z and Kanye West, Lady Gaga, and Lil Wayne. And even though Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto was released last month, it still outsold Lady Gaga's Born This Way on the iTunes year-end list, but that's probably because everyone bought BTW at Amazon for $1. Gaga finished No. 6 on the top-selling albums list.
For whatever reason — perhaps Apple doesn't want to spotlight just how poor CD sales are by comparison — iTunes doesn't reveal the exact sales numbers from their music service, so we don't know how many digital copies separated 21 from Sigh No More or "Rolling in the Deep" from No. 2 "Party Rock Anthem." But given all the evidence — 21's 13 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the album's 39 weeks in the Top 10, and the 12 combined weeks "Rolling" and "Someone Like You" spent atop the Hot 100 — it's likely that Adele just demolished her competition.
According to Billboard, 21 has sold about 4.8 million copies in the U.S. so far, but it's unclear how many of those were digital. Similarly, "Rolling in the Deep" was downloaded 5.6 million times on digital music services, but Billboard doesn't specify how many of those stemmed from iTunes (but assume it was the majority of purchases).
iTunes also took it upon themselves to hand out some other awards, so Foo Fighters' Wasting Light was named iTunes' Album of the Year despite not showing up in the Top 10 best-sellers, and Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" was Song of the Year even though it was outsold by eight other tracks. Here's how the best-sellers break down:
ITunes Top-Selling Albums
1. Adele - 21
2. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
3. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter IV (Deluxe Edition)
4. Kanye West and Jay-Z - Watch the Throne (Deluxe Edition)
5. Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto
6. Lady Gaga - Born This Way (Bonus Track Version)
7. Rihanna - Loud
8. Drake - Take Care (Deluxe Version)
9. Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
10. Bruno Mars - Doo-Wops & Hooligans (Deluxe Version)
iTunes Top-Selling Singles
1. Adele - "Rolling in the Deep"
2. LMFAO - "Party Rock Anthem (feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock)"
3. Katy Perry "Firework"
4. Bruno Mars "Grenade"
5. Cee-Lo Green "Forget You"
6. Pitbull "Give Me Everything (feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer)"
7. Katy Perry "E.T. (feat. Kanye West)"
8. Maroon 5 "Moves Like Jagger (feat. Christina Aguilera)"
9. Foster the People "Pumped Up Kicks"
10. Nicki Minaj "Super Bass"