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Adele officially best-selling artist of 2015

Adele achieved the feat for the full year even though she did not release ‘25’ until November 20

Published: Updated:

Adele, who broke records with her song “Hello” and latest album “25,” was officially the biggest artist of 2015.

Global music industry body IFPI said that the British ballad singer was the top-selling musical act last year based on worldwide sales of recordings.

Adele achieved the feat for the full year even though she did not release “25” until November 20 and declined to put the album on streaming sites, a rare move at a time when such on-demand services are growing rapidly.

“25” -- Adele’s third album which came more than four years after its predecessor -- broke records for first-week sales in both the United States and Britain.

The first track “Hello,” an introspective ballad in line with Adele’s previous work, was the first single to be downloaded more than one million times in the United States in one week.

IFPI chief executive Frances Moore, in a statement issued from Europe on Monday, called “25” the “runaway global sensation of 2015” and said Adele’s achievement was “simply phenomenal.”

IFPI, which stands for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, presents its annual award based on an artist’s physical and digital sales as well as streaming, although the group does not release figures.

Tracking service Nielsen SoundScan reported Sunday that “25” had sold eight million copies in the United States -- becoming only the sixth album to reach that threshold since 2001, when iTunes and other digital music innovations shook up the industry.