List of best-selling albums of the 21st century in the United Kingdom

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With sales of over 5 million, Adele's album 21 is the best-selling album of the 21st century in the UK, more than 1 million copies ahead of the next biggest seller, Amy Winehouse's Back to Black.

The UK Albums Chart is a music chart compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) that calculates the best-selling albums of the week in the United Kingdom.[1] Initially based solely on the sales of albums in the vinyl and CD formats, digital albums began being included from April 2006.[2] Since March 2015, the chart has also been based on audio streaming figures,[3] however the OCC still compiles a 'sales' (only) chart and still quotes these traditional sales figures in its features and articles.[4]

This is a list of the 50 best-selling albums in the UK from 1 January 2000 onwards, as compiled by the OCC (sales that occurred before 2000 are not included). Of these, only two were originally released before the year 2000: White Ladder (1998) by David Gray and Gold: Greatest Hits (1992) by ABBA.[4]

Back to Bedlam by James Blunt, which was the best-selling album of the 2000s decade,[5] was also the best-selling album of the 21st century until August 2011 when it was passed in sales by Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, following Winehouse's death the previous month.[6] Less than four months later, however, Back to Black was itself overtaken by Adele's 21.[7] As of July 2016, 21 remains the biggest-selling album in the UK since 2000 (and fourth best-selling ever), having sold over 4,940,000 copies.[8]

Best-selling albums since 2000[edit]

Sales figures from the OCC on the date given in the reference. The OCC differentiate 'chart sales' (which include streaming) from 'sales' (which are downloads and physical purchases and are quoted below).[3]

No. Title Artist Peak
position
Year of
release
Copies sold
(where available)
No. of times
Platinum[a]
1 21 Adele 1 2011 5,110,000[8] 17×
2 Back to Black Amy Winehouse 1 2006 3,940,000[8] 13×
3 25 Adele 1 2015 3,500,000[8] 11×
4 1 Beatles 1 2000 3,230,000[10]
5 x Ed Sheeran 1 2014 3,380,000[8]
6 Back to Bedlam James Blunt 1 2004 3,360,000[8]
7 ÷ Ed Sheeran 1 2017 3,300,000[8]
8 Spirit Leona Lewis 1 2007 3,170,000[8] 10×
9 Crazy Love Michael Bublé 1 2009 3,130,000[8]
10 No Angel Dido 1 2000 3,090,000[8]
11 White Ladder David Gray 1 1998dagger
2000 (re-release)
3,011,700[8][11]
12 The Fame Lady Gaga 1 2008 2,990,000[8]
13 Only by the Night Kings of Leon 1 2008 2,980,000[8]
14 A Rush of Blood to the Head Coldplay 1 2002 2,960,000[8]
15 Life for Rent Dido 1 2003 2,900,000[8]
16 Beautiful World Take That 1 2006 2,880,000[8]
17 Gold: Greatest Hits ABBA 1 1992dagger 2,569,600
18 Hopes and Fears Keane 1 2004 2,860,000[8]
19 X&Y Coldplay 1 2005 2,790,000[8]
20 Christmas Michael Bublé 1 2011 2,780,000
21 Scissor Sisters Scissor Sisters 1 2004 2,760,000[8]
22 Parachutes Coldplay 1 2000 2,713,711[12]
23 Number Ones Michael Jackson 1 2003 2,400,000
24 Come Away with Me Norah Jones 1 2002 2,540,000
25 The Marshall Mathers LP Eminem 1 2000 2,440,000
26 In the Lonely Hour Sam Smith 1 2014 2,400,095
27 + Ed Sheeran 1 2011 2,400,000[13]
28 Greatest Hits Robbie Williams 1 2004 2,320,000[10]
29 Eyes Open Snow Patrol 1 2004 2,370,000
30 Never Forget – The Ultimate Collection Take That 2 2005 2,360,000[10]
31 19 Adele 1 2008 2,400,000
32 Swing When You're Winning Robbie Williams 1 2001 2,385,673[14]
33 Progress Take That 1 2010 2,375,300[15]
34 Our Version of Events Emeli Sandé 1 2012 2,260,000[16]
35 Hot Fuss The Killers 1 2004 2,153,500[17]
36 American Idiot Green Day 1 2004 2,150,000[18]
37 Rockferry Duffy 1 2008 2,220,000[19]
38 The Circus Take That 1 2008 2,210,000
39 Sing When You're Winning Robbie Williams 1 2000 2,203,321[14]
40 Curtain Call: The Hits Eminem 1 2005 2,100,000[20]
41 Greatest Hits Guns N' Roses 1 2004 1,947,000
42 Escapology Robbie Williams 1 2002 2,075,441[14]
43 Employment Kaiser Chiefs 1 2005 2,048,500[21]
44 Songs About Jane Maroon 5 1 2004 2,081,000[22]
45 The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac 1 2002 2,032,000
46 By the Way Red Hot Chili Peppers 1 2002 2,020,000
47 Loud Rihanna 1 2010 1,950,864[23]
48 Justified Justin Timberlake 1 2002 1,975,000
49 Stripped Christina Aguilera 2 2002 1,980,000
50 The Greatest Hits Texas 1 2000 1,974,890[24]
51 Good Girl Gone Bad Rihanna 1 2007 1,904,347[23]
52 I Dreamed a Dream Susan Boyle 1 2009 1,938,305[25]
53 Born to Do It Craig David 1 2000 1,860,000[26]
54 The Platinum Collection Queen 2 2000 1,831,000
55 ELV1S: 30 No. 1 Hits Elvis Presley 1 2004 1,843,000
56 Call Off the Search Katie Melua 1 2004 1,900,000[27]
57 Legend Bob Marley and the Wailers 1 1984dagger 1,825,000
58 Sunny Side Up Paolo Nutini 1 2009dagger 1,824,000
59 Unbreakable: The Greatest Hits Volume 1 Westlife 1 2002 1,860,000
60 Demon Days Gorillaz 1 2005 1,840,000

daggerOriginally released before 2000; position based on sales since 2000

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The certifications are those given by the BPI as of January 2019.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  2. ^ West, Dave (9 April 2006). "Album chart allows downloads from Sunday". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b Copsey, Rob (11 February 2015). "UK's Official Albums Chart to include streaming data for first time". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b Moss, Liv (19 March 2015). "Official Biggest Selling Albums of the Millennium so far revealed!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  5. ^ "James Blunt records the biggest selling album of decade". BBC News. BBC. 29 December 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Amy Winehouse's 'Back to Black' becomes UK's biggest-selling album of the 21st century". NME. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  7. ^ Piedak, Alex (5 December 2011). "Adele's 21 tops Amy Winehouse for biggest selling album of 21st century". Metro. DMG Media. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Copsey, Rob (13 October 2018). "The UK's Top 40 biggest studio albums of time". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  10. ^ a b c Myers, Justin (12 July 2016). "Greatest of the greatest? The Top 10 biggest hits collections revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  11. ^ Jones, Alan (4 November 2016). "Official Charts Analysis: James Arthur tops albums chart with Back from the Edge". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  12. ^ Hanley, James (7 December 2018). "'To be part of this is incredible': Coldplay manager talks the band's future". Music Week. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  13. ^ Copsey, Rob (2 March 2017). "The incredible numbers behind Ed Sheeran's first two albums revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  14. ^ a b c Sutherland, Mark (9 May 2016). "By the numbers: inside Robbie Williams' albums career". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  15. ^ Jones, Alan (31 July 2015). "Official Charts Analysis: Chemical Brothers claim sixth No.1 album with Born in the Echoes". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  16. ^ White, Jack (16 September 2016). "Emeli Sandé announces details of her second album, called Long Live the Angels". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  17. ^ Jones, Alan (25 May 2015). "Official Charts Analysis: Brandon Flowers scores sixth No.1 with The Desired Effect". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  18. ^ Copsey, Rob (10 August 2016). "Green Day's biggest selling singles is the ultimate punk-rock playlist". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  19. ^ Forde, Eamon (9 July 2014). "From Robin Thicke to Mariah and Mick: five blockbuster albums that bombed". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  20. ^ Copsey, Rob (5 September 2018). "Eminem's Top 10 biggest albums on the Official Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  21. ^ Jones, Alan (7 April 2014). "Official Charts Analysis: Kaiser Chiefs almost double previous album's sales to hit No.1". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  22. ^ Copsey, Rob (14 January 2019). "Maroon 5's biggest singles on the Official Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  23. ^ a b Jones, Alan (5 February 2016). "Official Charts Analysis: Bowie scores consecutive No.1 albums". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  24. ^ Jones, Alan (28 April 2017). "Official Charts Analysis: Ed Sheeran makes it eight weeks on top of the albums chart". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  25. ^ Jones, Alan (2 December 2016). "Official Charts Analysis: Little Mix hold No.1 spot with Glory Days". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  26. ^ Myers, Justin (9 April 2015). "Number 1 today in 2000: Craig David scores a debut chart-topper". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  27. ^ Barstein, Brand (15 January 2013). "The biggest selling Easy Listening albums of the millennium revealed!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 October 2018.