What was the biggest hit album of the year you were born?

From the Independent

We compiled all the best-selling albums dating back to 1956, so you can see, and hear, which album was the soundtrack to your birth year

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Each year, one album taps into the hearts and ears of the public on its way to topping the Billboard year-end album chart.

Times have changed, though. In the 2010s, pop stars like Adele and Taylor Swift have dominated the charts, while in the 1950s and early 1960s, musical soundtracks and Broadway cast recordings tended to top the list.

Billboard has been tracking the top album of the year since 1956. From 1992 onward, total album sales were recorded by Nielsen SoundScan. Before 1992, the top album chart was “based on a survey of representative retail outlets that determined a ranking” and was “not a tally of actual sales.”

Business Insider compiled all the best-selling albums and their respective notable singles, dating back to 1956, so you can see, and hear, which album was the soundtrack to your birth year (so long as you’re between the ages of 1 and 61).

Check out which album made it to the top each year:

2016: Drake — “Views”

Young Money

Copies sold: 4,140,000

Notable singles: “Hotline Bling,” “One Dance”

2015: Adele — “25”


Copies sold: 8,008,000

Notable singles: “Hello,” “When We Were Young”

2014: Taylor Swift — “1989”

Big Machine Records

Copies sold: 3,661,000

Notable singles: “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” “Bad Blood”

2013: Justin Timberlake — “The 20/20 Experience”

RCA Records

Copies sold: 2,430,000

Notable singles: “Suit & Tie,” “Mirrors”

2012: Adele — “21”

Columbia Records

Copies sold: 4,410,000

Notable singles: “Someone Like You,” “Set Fire to the Rain,” “Rumour Has It”

2011: Adele — “21”

Columbia Records

Copies sold: 5,824,000

Notable singles: “Rolling In The Deep”

2010: Eminem — “Recovery”

Aftermath Entertainment

Copies sold: 3,415,000

Notable singles: “Not Afraid,” “Love The Way You Lie”

2009: Taylor Swift — “Fearless”

Big Machine Records

Copies sold: 3,217,000

Notable singles: “Love Story,” “You Belong With Me”

2008: Lil Wayne — “Tha Carter III”

Cash Money/Universal Motown

Copies sold: 2,874,000

Notable singles: “Lollipop,” “A Milli”

2007: Josh Groban — “Noël”

Reprise Records

Copies sold: 3,699,000

Notable single: “The First Noel (feat. Faith Hill)”

2006: “High School Musical” (Soundtrack)

Walt Disney Records

Copies sold: 3,719,000

Notable single: “Breaking Free”

Mariah Carey

2005: Mariah Carey — “The Emancipation of Mimi”

Island Def Jam

Copies sold: 4,969,000

Notable singles: “We Belong Together,” “Shake It Off”

2004: Usher — “Confessions”

Arista Records

Copies sold: 7,979,000

Notable singles: “Burn,” “Confessions Pt. II,” “Yeah!”

2003: 50 Cent — “Get Rich or Die Tryin’”

Shady Records/Aftermath Entertainment

Copies sold: 6,536,000

Notable singles: “In da Club,” “21 Questions”

2002: Eminem — “The Eminem Show”

Aftermath Entertainment

Copies sold: 7,608,000

Notable singles: “Without Me,” “Sing For The Moment”

2001: Linkin Park — “Hybrid Theory”

Warner Bros. Records

Copies sold: 4,813,000

Notable single: “In The End”

2000: NSYNC — “No Strings Attached”

Jive Records

Copies sold: 9,936,000

Notable singles: “Bye Bye Bye,” “It’s Gonna Be Me”

1999: Backstreet Boys — “Millennium”


Copies sold: 9,446,000

Notable singles: “I Want It That Way,” “Larger Than Life”

Read more here

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