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A very good year for Bad Bunny

NEW YORK – New data from the music industry confirms what many people long suspected, 2021 was a very good year for Bad Bunny, Morgan Wallen, Adele and vinyl.

MRC Data’s year-end report, released in collaboration with Billboard, shows that Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” ended 2021 as the most popular country album and the most popular of all genres in the United States with the equivalent to 3.2 million units of albums sold during the year.

This despite Wallen being rejected by the music industry after a video emerged of him uttering a racist slur. The artist was dumped by his record label, disqualified from the Country Academy Awards, and his music was temporarily removed from radio stations and streaming services.

Bad Bunny’s “Last World Tour” was the most popular album in the Latin music category. In addition to being the first Spanish album to dominate the weekly Billboard 200 chart, it had the equivalent of 853,900 album units sold in 2021. Bad Bunny was also the top Latin artist in 2020 with “YHLQMDLG”. His song “Dákiti” with Jhay Cortez was the most consumed and with the highest presence on the radio in 2021.

Other popular albums of the year include Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR,” Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon,” and Doja Cat’s “Planet Her.” Dua Lipa’s single “Levitating” was unstoppable, with 804.7 million units of on-demand audio and video streams, is the biggest hit of the year.

Adele’s “30” album earned her her highest album sale in four years, with sales equivalent to 839,000 units in its first week. It was the highest-selling album upon release since Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” in 2017. Adele’s previous album, “25” from 2015, still holds the record for most albums sold in a single week at 3.38 million copies.

Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” was the most popular rap album of 2021 in the United States, with the equivalent of 1.97 million album units. Masked Wolf’s “Astronaut in the Ocean” was the most consumed rap song of 2021.

And in this digital age, on-demand audio streaming had an annual peak at 988.1 billion streams. At the same time, there was a lot of retro sentiment: Vinyl sales surpassed CDs as the best-selling physical format for the first time since MRC Data began measuring music sales in 1991.

Physical vinyl sales added less than 2% in 2011, but ended 2021 with more than half of physical album sales with a total of 41.7 million albums.

The data showed that new music streaming declined in volume from year to year, an accelerating trend that began in streaming during the early waves and shutdowns from COVID-19 “when music fans turned to their old favorites to listening to music out of nostalgia, “says the report.


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