By Grady Smith
February 22, 2012 at 05:04 PM EST
John Shearer/Getty Images

In the first full sales week since the Grammys, Adele’s 21, which won six awards including the Album of the Year prize, topped the Billboard 200 in a big way.

The British diva, whose middle finger made headlines last night at the Brit Awards, sold an astounding 730,000 copies (a 207% increase) of her blockbuster album, bringing its total to over 7.3 million in the States. According to iTunes, it also became the first album to ever sell over 2 million digital copies. Remarkably, 21 achieved these feats in its 52nd(!) week of release.

That’s right, the critically beloved disc has been available to consumers for a full year now, and it has maintained exemplary sales levels during each and every frame. Altogether, 21 has topped the chart for 21 weeks — the same amount of time as MC Hammer’s 1990 disc Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, and the longest tally for any solo female artist ever.

Only seven albums have ever spent more time at number one:

West Side Story Soundtrack (54 weeks)

Thriller, Michael Jackson (37 weeks)

Calypso, Harry Belafonte (31 weeks)

South Pacific, Soundtrack (31 weeks)

Rumours, Fleetwood Mac (31 weeks)

Saturday Night Fever, Bee Gees/Soundtrack (24 weeks)

Purple Rain, Prince and the Revolution (24 weeks)

Adele’s debut album 19 also got a substantial boost after her Grammy sweep, with sales rising a whopping 144 percent to 87,000 — enough to put it in fourth place. Don’t be surprised if both 21 and 19 end up outselling many high-profile new releases in 2012. Adele’s success and enduring appeal are, quite simply, phenomenal.

Whitney Houston’s Whitney: The Greatest Hits rose into second place in the wake of the star’s death. The late singer’s collection sold 175,000 copies, up 174 percent from the previous week. Houston’s most iconic track, “I Will Always Love You,” which currently sits at no. 7 on the Hot 100, will likely see high placement on tomorrow’s singles chart as well.

In third place, Now 41 sold 94,000 units, while Grammy Nominees 2012 rounded out the Top 5 with 85,000.

Many other artists enjoyed big boosts following the Grammys, too. Adele’s former opening act, The Civil Wars, saw a 178 percent increase for their debut album Barton Hollow, which soared from 41 to 10 on the chart and shifted 36,000 copies — imagine if they’d been given more than 60 seconds to perform!

Bruno Mars also got a major lift — his set Doo Wops and Hooligans increased 133 percent to 38,000 and shot from 30 to 8. Looks like his dapper golden blazer and classic showmanship motivated buyers.

Other Grammy bumps? Lady Antebellum’s Own The Night (17-9, +47%), Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto (14-11, +26 percent), Rihanna’s Talk That Talk (18-17, +11%), Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light (59-21, +134%) The Band Perry’s The Band Perry (24-19, +22%), Taylor Swift’s Speak Now (42-25, +60%), Bon Iver’s Bon Iver (49-29, +61%) Skrillex’s Bangarang (32-31, +29%), and, somewhat inexplicably considering they won no awards and didn’t perform, Mumford and Sons’ Sigh No More (29-23, +40%). Apparently, people are still enamored with Mumford’s breakout performance at the Grammys — way back in 2011.

Check out this week’s Top 10 below:

1. Adele, 21 – 730,000

2. Whitney Houston, The Greatest Hits – 175,000

3.  Various Artists, Now 41 – 94,000

4. Adele, 19 – 87,000

5. Various Artists, Grammy Nominees 2012 – 85,000

6. Van Halen, A Different Kind Of Truth – 58,000

7. Paul McCartney, Kisses On The Bottom – 58,000

8. Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans – 38,000

9. Lady Antebellum, Own The Night – 37,000

10. The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow – 36,000

Are you surprised by Adele’s chart dominance? How far do you think the album can reach over the next few weeks? Sound off in the comments!

Follow @EWGradySmith

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