Justin Bieber tops One Direction on Billboard chart, but Adele on the horizon

Justin Bieber is drenched with water after he performed Sorry during the 2015 American Music Awards in Los Angeles.
Justin Bieber is drenched with water after he performed Sorry during the 2015 American Music Awards in Los Angeles.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Canadian pop star Justin Bieber edged out British boy band One Direction in a battle to the top of the United States Billboard 200 album chart on Monday, but his reign will be short-lived as British singer Adele looks to break records with her new release.

Purpose, the fourth studio album by Bieber, sold 520,000 albums, 602,000 songs and was streamed 100 million times in its first week, totalling 649,000 units, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

It is his best-selling debut in his career so far. One Direction's Made In The A.M. sold 459,000 units in its first week, landing at No. 2.

Adele's 25, released last Friday, would not officially enter the Billboard charts until next week, but Billboard said last Saturday that it sold more than 900,000 copies on Apple Inc's iTunes store in its first day.

The current first week US sales record is held by boy band NSync's 2000 record No Strings Attached, which opened with 2.4 million copies.

On the Digital Songs chart, which measures online download sales, Adele's heartbreak ballad Hello held onto the top spot with another 327,000 copies sold this week.

As album sales have dropped drastically due to the rise in online streaming, it is increasingly rare for an artist to top one million copies sold in the first week.

Taylor Swift was the last artist to achieve the milestone, with her 1989 album opening with 1.29 million last year. Both Bieber and One Direction set new streaming records on Spotify last week with their latest albums.

The boy band came away the big winners at the American Music Awards on Sunday and was one of the night's top performances, as well as Bieber.