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Adele's "21" becomes top UK album of 21st century

British singer Adele performs "Someone Like You" at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles
British singer Adele performs "Someone Like You" at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles

LONDON (Reuters) - Singer Adele notched a new record Monday, when the Official Charts Company (OCC) confirmed that her second album "21" had become the biggest seller in Britain this century.

The record, which looks set to be the world's most successful album of 2011, has passed sales of 3.4 million copies, eclipsing the late Amy Winehouse's 2006 LP "Back To Black" which has sold 3.3 million.

According to the OCC, 21 has never left the British top 10 since its release in January, and Sunday clocked its 45th week in the upper end of the rankings, rising to No. 5 from ninth.

This week's rise was attributed to the publicity surrounding Adele's six Grammy nominations, including album of the year for 21 as well as record of the year and song of the year for "Rolling in the Deep."

Adele's success in her native Britain has been matched by that in the United States, the world's biggest music market, where 21 passed the four-million copy mark in October.

The 23-year-old was forced to cancel a string of live dates and award show appearances when she underwent surgery in Boston last month to treat a benign polyp on her vocal cords.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

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