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'Hello' sees Adele reach new Billboard download mark

British singer Adele has smashed download records. Her comeback, "Hello," sold more than 1.1 million downloads in its first week, becoming the first song to break the 1 million mark on the Billboard charts.

Justin Bieber needed about 800,000 more Beliebers. The Canadian sold a respectable 276,800 downloads of his latest, "Sorry," to take No. 2 on the Billboard chart - a distant second behind the British pop star Adele, whose comeback, "Hello," sold more than 1.1 million, according to data released by Nielsen Music on Monday.

"Hello" also broke several other new records, with Spotify users streaming it 47.5 million times globally, making it the most-heard song over a week in the online platform's history. Users on online subscription services played "Hello" 20.4 million times - more than twice the record set two months ago by Bieber with "What Do You Mean?"

The video had over 27 million views in the first 24 hours after its release on Vevo last week. "Hello" has amassed nearly 200 million views on YouTube, becoming the fastest video to hit the 100 million mark with the exception of "Gentlemen" by South Korean pop singer Psy, his follow-up to "Gangnam Style," still the most viewed YouTube clip in history.

Heartbreaking hits

"Hello" - Adele's fourth No. 1 single, following "Rolling In the Deep," ''Someone Like You" and "Set Fire to the Rain" - also debuted atop Billboard's Hot 100 chart. The tear-jerking first single from Adele's upcoming new album, "25" - set for a late-November release - follows a four-year break from music after her "21" album won six Grammy awards and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

Music industry watchers expect "25" to rival "1989," the blockbuster 2014 album from Taylor Swift. Adele's last album, "21," featured the resigned adieu "Someone Like You" and proved the top-seller in the United States for two years in a row, as well as the biggest by a comfortable margin in Britain in the 21st century.

According to Nielsen Music, the American rapper Flo Rida had previously held the title for top digital song in a single week with "Right Round," selling 636,000 downloads in 2009. Criticized for its misogyny, the single samples the 1984 Dead or Alive song "You Spin Me Around (Like a Record)."

mkg/ (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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