It took Adele just 20 days to reach the coveted top spot on the US album chart, becoming the fastest-selling album by a woman in both the United States and the United Kingdom this year.
Encore (Epic) was released on May 4 in the UK and was released a day later in the United States, and by Monday the album was the fastest-selling album of the year in both markets. Adele’s previous release, 25, had spent six weeks at the top of the UK album chart and eight weeks in the United States.
The album has also broken records in Australia and Germany.
That Adele had a successful album release amidst questions of her mental health, the first public release of her new songs since her vocal cords injury last year, is being described as a striking turnaround. As Billboard reported, “much of the buildup and disappointment this year has surrounded her health.” She postponed performing in Australia, parts of which are part of the 2019 South by Southwest festival, and had to cancel a performance in South Africa in February over health concerns.
The fifth album in her long career is also being described as, “a return to form for the six-time Grammy winner” by Pitchfork, which included the album on its list of best albums of 2018.