US music sales rise for first time since 2004

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. music album sales grew in the first six months of the year from a year ago, the first gain since 2004, thanks to rising sales of digital tracks and albums.

Tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan said Wednesday that overall album sales rose nearly 4 percent to 221.5 million units, from 213.6 million a year ago.

The figure includes compact discs and digital albums. Nielsen also counts 10 tracks sold individually as one album.

The top-selling album was Adele’s “21,” with 2.5 million albums sold, while Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” came second with 1.5 million albums, thanks largely to a promotion on Amazon.com that sold her album for a heavily discounted 99 cents.

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