Snippets of Adele's album 25 leaked, removed days ahead of release

British singer Adele
British singer Adele 125

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Parts of Adele's much anticipated new album, 25, were reported on Wednesday (Nov 18) to have been leaked online ahead of the official Nov 20 release of the Grammy-winning British singer's first release in four years.

Adele's 2011 album, 21, won six Grammy awards and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, and the new release is expected to be the biggest selling album of 2015.

An Adele fan posted on Twitter a photo on Tuesday of what looked like the CD of the new album, claiming it was obtained at a Target store.

The fan, with the Twitter handle @HausofFrancis, invited followers to "retweet if you want me to leak it".

The fan later posted what appeared to be a tweet from Adele's record label, XL Recordings, ordering the removal of the"infringing material" and threatening legal action.

"25 leaked and it wasn't me," @HausofFrancis tweeted on Wednesday.

Target said it was not responsible.

"This is not a Target album," the retailer said in a statement.

Representatives for independent label XL and for Adele, who recorded a concert in New York City on Tuesday night, did not return requests for comment.

In a separate case, two-minute snippets of all 11 tracks from the album were reported to have been briefly available online late on Tuesday through a British online record store.

The link had been taken down on Wednesday.

Billboard magazine estimated last month that 25 could sell up to 1.8 million units in North America alone its first week on sale.

The first single and music video from the album, Hello, smashed digital sales records and views when they were officially released last month.

A second single, When We Were Young, was released on Tuesday and has already been viewed more than seven million times on streaming platform Vevo.