“Hello” To Adele’s Record-Breaking Return

Adele Hello Record-Breaking Return

On Friday morning I was awake very early and on my way to the airport, which means I watched Adele’s devastating video for “Hello” in a particularly vulnerable state. Flip phone and all, she’s always had a way of cutting right to the quick of what makes us ache. “Hello” expertly captures the way phones have permeated our relationships–romantic or otherwise–and also manages to convey how hard it is to reach out to someone who broke our heart long ago, how much we need to do it anyway, and the empty, resounding silence that usually results from such attempts. That three-pronged emotional pitchfork is part of what catapulted her new song to the record-breaking number of 1.11 million downloads.

The way we measure a single’s success has obviously shifted over the past decade or so, but Billboard reports that the previous record holder was Flo Rida’s 2009 hit “Right Round,” which had 636,000 downloads in its first week. “Hello” is also the first song ever to sell over a million downloads in a week, and one of only 24 tracks to debut at #1 on the Hot 100 chart. The other pop star to recently rack up that distinction? Justin Bieber with “What Do You Mean.” The last woman to do so was Taylor Swift with “Shake It Off.” Watch below if you’ve somehow escape the ubiquity and look for her third album, 25, out 11/20.

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