Adele has crossed a very sacred line in the music business. Her “21′ album passed the 10 million mark this week, making it one of the CDs to attain that level since SoundScan began counting units sold. The “21″ album sold 28,000 copies last week, bringing it just over the 10 mil line a few weeks shy of its second birthday. The album launched a few big singles including “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You.” Since its release, Adele has done little touring but she did have a baby. She also got a big new hit with “Skyfall,” the theme from the new James Bond movie. In the old days an artist with such success would be right back in the studio. But at the rate things are going, we might not see a new Adele album until 2014.
Meanwhile, Rihanna’s peeps are all excited that she sold 238,000 copies in her first week with “Unapologetic,” her second album in two years. It’s her biggest debut in the seven years of her career. But that seems like a small number given the massive amount of publicity Rihanna has gotten, and the zillions of dollars just spent on her Flight of the Damned, the 777 that took press and fans to seven cities in seven days while Rihanna spent most of the time sequestered. Rihanna is a first among strange new performers of this generation. She spends a lot of time stoking the flames of something–passion?– with the boyfriend who famously beat her to a pulp, singer Chris Brown. She also likes to pose naked a lot. Her life is like a carnival with many sideshows.