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Adele, Taylor Swift + One Direction Are Worldwide Top-Selling Artists of 2012

One Direction Zayn Malik Adele Taylor Swift
Jamie McCarthy / Jason Merritt / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Congrats to Adele, Taylor Swift and One Direction! The trifecta of pop perfection were the highest selling artists worldwide of 2012. Is anyone surprised?

Adele’s ’21’ was the biggest selling album of the year for the second time in a row. The unstoppable sophomore effort was driven not only by Adele’s raw vocal talent, but also by the heartache and mastery in her songwriting. Her publicity also played a big role in her success: Not only did she sweep the Grammys, but Adele also gave birth to a baby boy this year, further raising her already spectacular profile. ’21’ pushed over 9 million copies between January 14, 2012 to the chart week of January 5, 2013.

Swift came in second place, though still trailing far behind the powerhouse Brit. Her album ‘Red,’ which she promoted with everything from chain pizza to sneakers to a tour with Ed Sheeran, moved 3.8 million units from its Oct. 22 release to the end of the chart tabulations.

Perhaps the most impressive? Third place winners One Direction, whose debut, ‘Up All Night,’ sold 3.6 million copies. The boy band juggernaut also took the No. 5 spot with their followup, ‘Take Me Home,’ which was only been on shelves for five weeks. Considering they had the highest U.S. debut ever for a U.K. act with ‘Up All Night’ and broke records left and right all year, this isn’t too much of a shock — and it may be critics who call the bubblegum Brits a flash in the pan to rest once and for all.

Other pop faves on the list? Lana Del Rey has an equally impressive No. 4 ranking with ‘Born to Die,’ which is a particularly great feat considering her disastrous ‘SNL’ debut and lack of radio airplay. Pink took the No. 7 slot with ‘The Truth About Love,’ Justin Bieber stole tween hearts and the No. 8 spot with ‘Believe,’ followed respectively by Coldplay‘s ‘Mylo Xyoto’ at No. 9, Maroon 5‘s ‘Overexposed’ at No. 10 and self-proclaimed “Christmas prostitute” Michael Buble‘s surprisingly resilient ‘Christmas’ at No. 11.

Next: Vote for Adele, Swift + One Direction for 2012 PopCrush Music Awards!

Watch the Adele ‘Someone Like You’ Video

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