Top-selling albums, singles of 2016: Adele is bigger than Christmas​

The only thing Australians love more than Christmas is Adele. But boy do we love Adele.

For the second year in a row, the English singer's third album, 25, is the highest selling album in Australia. It's worth noting that 25 was the highest selling album of 2015 despite being available for only the final six weeks of that year.

After debuting at No.1 in 2015 it was only at the summit for two weeks. However, 25 spent 45 weeks altogether in the top 10, never dropped lower than 28 throughout 2016 and has pulled in its slipstream Adele's two previous – and also high-selling – albums, 19 and 21, which also finished the year in the 100 highest-selling albums table: at 93 and 29 respectively.

At a time when an album could make it to No.1 with sales of fewer than 3000 – former Australian Idol runner up Anthony Callea's Backbone achieving the dubious honour of being the lowest-selling record ever to debut at No.1 – Adele's figures are staggering.

My sales are this big ... Adele finished 2016 as she finished 2015, with the highest selling album of the year in Australia. Photo: Chris Pizzello

My sales are this big ... Adele finished 2016 as she finished 2015, with the highest selling album of the year in Australia. Photo: Chris Pizzello

Sales for 25 now have registered as eight times platinum, which means more than 560,000 copies. That is roughly one for each ticket sold for her 2017 tour of Australia, but will undoubtedly grow further during that tour.

Keith Urban's Ripcord was the second-highest-selling album of the year, making him the best-selling Australian (or New Zealander who grew up in Australia, has lived and recorded in the US for decades, but still counts as Australian) artist.

However, it may be that the best reflection of Australian tastes, or our lack of imagination at gift-giving time, is the presence of two Christmas albums in the top 10.

Despite being heavily discounted – at one point being offered at $2 as part of a special offer – local favourites John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John's Friends For Christmas, at No.7, was just pipped by Michael Buble's perennial favourite, Christmas.

Christmas was the No.1 album on Christmas Day for the fifth year in a row in 2016.

To put that into perspective, Buble's Christmas has sold almost twice as many copies as 25, albeit since 2011, going past the 1 million mark. It would suggest an Adele Christmas album, or better still an Adele and Buble Christmas duets album could make the charts redundant for any other acts.

On the singles front Justin Bieber repeated his feat of 2015, being the only artist to feature in both the top 10 singles and album chart. He was some way behind the inexorable if not necessarily defensible rise of electro-pop group Chainsmokers whose song, Closer, was the biggest song of 2016, sharing space in the top 10 with another of their hits, Don't Let Me Down.

As with the album chart – where Urban, Farnham/ONJ and Jessica Mauboy (with a soundtrack album for the TV series Secret Daughter) featured – there was an Australian presence among the singles in the top 10.

Flume's ARIA-wining Never Be Like You, at No.4, and Sia's Cheap Thrills, at No.8, broke up the run of American, British and Canadian artists.

Top 10 Singles of 2016:

1. The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey Closer

2. Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla One Dance

3. Lukas Graham 7 Years

4. Flume featuring Kai Never Be Like You

5. The Chainsmokers featuring Daya Don't Let Me Down

6. Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna This Is What You Came For

7. Justin Timberlake Can't Stop The Feeling

8. Sia 'Cheap Thrills

9.Twenty One Pilots Stressed Out

10. Justin Bieber Love Yourself

Top 10 Albums of 2016:

1. Adele 25

2. Keith Urban Ripcord

3. Beyonce Lemonade

4. Soundtrack Molly (Soundtrack from the TV Series)

5. Michael Buble Christmas

6. John Farnham & Olivia Newton-John Friends For Christmas

7. Jessica Mauboy Secret Daughter (Songs from the TV Series)

8. David Bowie Blackstar

9. Justin Bieber Purpose

10. Soundtrack Suicide Squad: The Album

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop