1. Adele: '21', released January 24.
Without question, 2011 belonged to Adele. Her break-up album took a matter of weeks to resonate with the entire world, and easily tops the list for biggest-selling record of the year with sales of 13 million to date. Between the bitter 'Rolling in the Deep' and heart-tugging 'Someone Like You', 21
showcases not only her incredible vocal range, but a rare moment in music when a critically-praised album is as commercially successful.