Adele, BTS and Taylor Swift help increase CD sales in the US for first time in 17 years

Adele's '30' accounted for over 2 per cent of all CD sales in the US last year

CD sales have increased in the US for the first time in almost two decades, in part due to albums by Adele, BTS and Taylor Swift.

In MRC Data’s 2021 US Year-End Report, shared by Billboard, CD album sales saw a growth of 1.1 per cent from 2020, with 40.59million albums sold in 2021 compared to 40.16million the year prior.

Adele had the biggest impact on driving last year’s growth, with her latest album ’30’ selling almost 900,000 copies in CD format alone in the US. The album’s sales accounted for 2.15 per cent of all CD sales throughout 2021.


The second highest-selling CD album in the US was Taylor Swift’s re-release of ‘Fearless’, followed closely by her re-release of ‘Red’. Included elsewhere in the top 10 best-selling CD albums of 2021 are BTS’ two 2020 albums, ‘Map Of The Soul: 7’ and ‘Be’.

Despite the increase, vinyl outsold CDs in the US for the first time since MRC Data started reporting yearly sales in 1991. Vinyl sales experienced a huge increase, with a 51.4 per cent growth to 41.72million albums, up from 27.55million in 2020.

These increases reflect sales in the UK throughout the past year, with vinyl sales being the highest they’ve been in 30 years. More than five million vinyl records were sold in 2021, an eight per cent increase from 2020.

In addition, CD sales also increased in the UK in 2021, with Q4 sales seeing year-on-year increase in the UK of almost 15 per cent, largely thanks to ’30’, as well as Ed Sheeran‘s ‘=’ and ABBA‘s ‘Voyage’.

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