Image copyright PA Image caption Adele was named the richest British musician in 2016
Adele’s Hello sold 7.6 million copies in its first three weeks of release, making it the fastest-selling album in history.
The record company GfK Chart Info (GPi) says the gap between Hello and the nearest competitor – Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk – is the longest.
Adele’s album was released in November 2015, the first of five blockbuster years of sales for the singer.
A spokesperson for Adele said that Hello was “definitely” an album of the year contender.
Hello topped the Billboard 200 chart in the US for three weeks in 2015, at the peak of Adele’s 2016 records sales.
The song’s debut single, Hello, spent 16 weeks at number one in the UK.
The album itself went on to sell more than 20 million copies worldwide, over two years after its release.
Closely following Hello’s success in the US is Ed Sheeran’s x, which took nine weeks to achieve its milestone. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at number four in 2014.
Rounding out the top five is Taylor Swift’s 1989, which took five weeks to achieve its milestone in 2016.
Pavement’s cover of The Zutons’ Valerie, which was released in 1999, has been forced to settle for 11th place.
GPi’s data shows that of the 11 fastest-selling albums in the UK, six are Adele or Brits.
The last time the country was so dominant in music was when the Beatles dominated, by compiling their final album Come Together in 1966.
Last month, the star’s representatives announced that she had entered the UK top 10 for the first time since 2015.
The track James Bond: The Theme from the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, became her third number one single.
Adele is the world’s best-paid musician, according to Forbes, having earned $85m (£63m) last year.