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imageNEW YORK: Pop singer Adele's latest album, "25," has sold a record-smashing 3.38 million copies in its first week on the US market, Nielsen Music reported.

The British star's release set a record for the largest single sales week for an album since Nielsen began methodically tracking weekly music sales in 1991, the company said late Saturday.

It is also the first album in Nielsen history to sell more than three million copies in a week.

The previous single-week sales record was held by Justin Timberlake's boy band NSYNC and their "No Strings Attached" album, which sold 2.42 million albums back in 2000.

"25," Adele's third studio album, was released on November 20. Tracking ended on November 26, just before the annual Black Friday sales extravaganza.

Adele's previous album, "21," sat atop the Billboard 200 list of best selling albums for 24 nonconsecutive weeks and is the longest run in the top spot for a woman in the chart's history, Nielsen said.

"25" is also the biggest selling album of 2015, surpassing the 1.8 million sold by Taylor Swift's latest effort, "1989." Swift's album was released in October 2014.

Billboard magazine, which runs the benchmark US chart, earlier predicted that "25" would sell around 2.9 million copies in its first week in the United States.

The album, which is not available through online streaming services -- the booming sector that allows unlimited on-demand music -- is led by the opening ballad "Hello."

Adele also looked to set a record in Britain, where "25" has sold 538,000 copies in its first three days.

The British record is held by rockers Oasis, whose "Be Here Now" sold 696,000 copies in its first week in 1997.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

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