Adele’s “21” has earned its 22nd week at the penthouse of the Billboard 200, moving 297,000 copies for a grand total of 7.65 million units sold in the U.S. since the album debuted last year around this same time.
 
That string of non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 is approaching the next record-setting hurdle, the 24 weeks that Prince & the Revolutions “Purple Rain” soundtrack spent at the summit over 1984 and 1985 and that the Bee Gees’ soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever” did in 1978.
 
Adele has a long way to go if she hopes to achieve the most weeks at No. 1 – the soundtrack to “West Side Story” holds that title, with 54 weeks.
 
Adele’s other album, “19,” falls No. 4 to No. 7 with 39,000, down 56% in sales.
 
Whitney Houston’s “Whitney: The Greatest Hits” stays at No. 2 with 174,000, a less-than-1% dip in sales, while her “Bodyguard” soundtrack flies up No. 38 to No. 6 (47,000, +176%). Houston’s self-titled album rallies No. 37 to No. 9 (30,000, +72%).
 
The rock-pop band fun. bows at No. 3 with sophomore set “Some Nights,” selling 70,000. Their first album “Aim and Ignite” peaked at No. 71; this new album’s sales were amped by single “We Are Young,” which made its way onto the Hot 100.
 
Rapper Tyga’s first studio album “Careless World: Rise of the Last King” bows at No. 4 with 61,000.
 
The “Now 41” hits compilation slips No. 3 to No. 5 (54,000, -43%). Then it’s Whitney, then “19,” then Chiddy Bang’s first album “Breakfast,” entering at No. 8 with 31,000.
 
Then it’s Whitney again, and the “2012 Grammy Nominees” set moves No. 5 to No. 10 (29,000, -66%).
 
Sales were down 18% compared to last week and down 3% compared to the same sales week last year. Sales are up 3% for the year so far.