Adele album enjoys decade's biggest US sales year

NEW YORK - Adele's record-breaking album "25" has scored another feat - the highest US sales during a single year in a decade.

The British singer's album unsurprisingly was the top-selling album of 2015 and spent its sixth week at number one on the year's final chart released Monday by Nielsen Music.

"25" sold 7.44 million copies in the United States by the end of December 31 - the most in a year since R&B star Usher's album "Confessions" sold 7.98 million copies in 2004.

However, Usher's album came out in March while Adele managed the massive year-end tally despite releasing "25" on November 20.

"25," full of ballads that touch on heartache and childhood nostalgia, was Adele's first album in four years and benefited from massive pent-up demand. Her previous album, "21," was the top-selling album in the United States in both 2011 and 2012.

But "21" did not reach the sales of "25" in either year, showing the historic nature of Adele's latest work.

"25," led by the single "Hello," enjoyed the biggest debut week sales on record both in the United States and Adele's native Britain.

In a move that challenged the music industry's conventional wisdom about the need for instant online music, Adele did not make "25" available on streaming sites and still managed the huge sales through physical copies and digital downloads.