By Nolan Feeney
November 24, 2015

Adele’s long-awaited new album, 25, hasn’t even been out for a week and it’s already made history. In the first four days after its Nov. 20 release, the singer’s third album sold 2.433 million copies according to Nielsen Music—surpassing the record-holding number of copies *NSYNC sold in a week with their 2000 album No Strings Attached. With industry experts telling Billboard that they expect Adele to hit the 2.9 million mark by the end of the week, there was little doubt she’d set a new record for the fast-selling album in the U.S. with her first-week sales. In doing so, she tops the likes of the Backstreet Boys, Eminem, Britney Spears and Taylor Swift. Those are some big names, but considering that artists don’t sell albums like they used to—six of the top 10 fast-selling albums are from 2000 or 2001, just at the cusp of the digital music revolution—Adele’s success is even more extraordinary.

Write to Nolan Feeney at nolan.feeney@time.com.

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