Eminem's “Recovery” was 2010's top-selling album, while Taylor Swift sold the most albums overall in a year where the music industry's decline intensified and digital sales stagnated.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, Eminem sold 3.42 million copies of “Recovery” last year, ahead of Lady Antebellum's “Need You Now” (3.09 million) and Swift's “Speak Now,” which sold 2.96 million after being available only 10 weeks. (Sales from her previous albums helped give her the top-selling artist honors.) Justin Bieber's “My World 2.0” (2.32 million) and Susan Boyle's “The Gift” (1.85 million) round out the Top 5.
On the singles' side, Katy Perry's “California Gurls” was the year-end winner, selling 4.4 million downloads, edging out Train's “Hey, Soul Sister,” which sold 4.31 million. Eminem's “Love the Way You Lie” (4.25 million) was close behind. Taio Cruz's “Dynamite” (4.08 million) and B.o.B.'s “Airplanes” with Hayley Williams (4.0 million) round out the Top 5.
Though having five songs clear the 4 million mark is a record, digital sales were up only 1 percent over 2009, a sign that anyone clinging to the hope that rising digital sales would help make up for the decline in album sales needs to rethink the future. Overall sales of albums were down 12.8 percent from an already weak 2009. Album sales are down more than 60 percent from their peak in 2000.
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