Entertainment & Arts

Adele heads straight to number one

Adele in the video for Hello Image copyright XL Recordings
Image caption The video for Hello has now been watched more than 70 million times on YouTube

Adele's comeback single, Hello, looks set to top the singles chart, after selling 165,000 copies in three days.

Early figures from the Official Charts Company show the single has been downloaded 156,000 times, with the rest of the total derived from streaming.

The star is also set for a US number one, after selling roughly 450,000 downloads in 48 hours.

The song's video, which also premiered on Friday, has been watched more than 70 million times on YouTube.

Directed by Canadian film-maker Xavier Dolan, the video sees Adele raking the coals of a faded relationship.

Her ex-boyfriend is played in flashback scenes by Tristan Wilds, a former child actor from acclaimed crime series The Wire, who released his own Grammy-nominated album, New York: A Love Story, in 2013.

According to Entertainment Weekly, it is also the first music video to be shot with large-format IMAX cameras.

Sales record

Hello is the lead single from Adele's third album, 25, which is due out on 20 November.

Reviews for the single have been overwhelmingly positive. The Guardian called it "striking, witty and lovelorn"; while the Telegraph described it as "a beautiful song of loss and regret".

Image copyright AFP / Getty Images
Image caption Adele received two Brit awards and seven Grammys for her last album, 21

Following its release on Friday, it topped the iTunes chart in 102 countries, and the album topped the pre-order chart in 93 countries.

In the UK, Hello is expected to have the biggest opening week of the year, beating Ellie Goulding's Love Me Like You Do, which achieved 173,000 combined sales and streams in February.

The star could also smash a US record for selling the most downloads in a single week - set in 2009 when Flo Rida's Right Round was bought 636,000 times.

Such figures emphasise the importance of Adele's career in an ailing music industry. She is one of the remaining few artists - others include Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Ed Sheeran - who can convince fans to pay for their records.

Her last album, 21, sold 30 million copies worldwide, and it is hoped that its follow-up, 25, will mirror that success.

If so, it could help reverse figures from the first half of this year, which showed that sales of both CDs and digital albums had fallen in the UK.

But, speaking last Friday, Adele told the BBC she was not feeling the weight of expectation.

"I feel like every album I'm ever going to write is always going to be following 21," she said. "No matter what this album does, my next record's going to be following 21.

"It's phenomenal what happened with that - but it is a phenomenon. I can't really include it in any expectations of anything I ever do again."

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