Weigh In: Whitney Houston Fans Cry Foul Over Adele’s Record-Breaking ‘Hello’

Published: Wednesday 18th Nov 2015 by Rashad
adele tgj whitney houston record hello

There are only a handful of artists in the history of ever whose careers can even be mentioned in the same sentence with diva supreme Whitney Houston.  Her illustrious Hot 100 and Billboard 200 resume read of almost untouchable heights and more records set than can be adequately mentioned in one article (“first female to debut at #1 on Billboard 200,” “first artist to sell 1 million albums in one week,” “first and only artist to have 7 consecutive #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100” merely touch the tip the iceberg).

But, as the age old adage goes:  ‘records are made to be broken.’

For, just two weeks ago, Adele said ‘Hello’ to the Hot 100 and history books as her long-awaited return brought with it a massive 1.1 million sold in just one week.  Seeing her name penciled atop the list of ‘most singles sold in one week’ tally, the song’s performance was nearly double that of former record-holder Flo-Rida‘s 636,000 sold for his 2009 single ‘Right Round.’  The impressive chart triumph was widely celebrated, that is, until some outlets began pitting its success against Houston’s signature hit ‘I Will Always Love You’ – which held the overall record for most singles sold in one week at 632,000.

Then, Nippy fans cried foul.  The premise of their argument is simple:  Billboard records should have context…

Let it be understood, regardless of how you slice it, Adele does rightfully hold the record for most singles sold in one week as reports have it ‘Hello’ was ushered to #1 on the heels of massive streaming and 1.1 million sold.  But, therein lies the problem because that 1.1 million figure was solely comprised of digital downloads.  

Houston, on the other hand, saw her record of 635,000 built on physical sales only.  Granted, it may have been 20 years ago and physical copies were the only option at the time, but this does not discount the self-evident merit of nor testament to its massive popularity as fans did not have the convenience of simply clicking a button to purchase or stream it.  Thusly, if such was an option to the fans of the early 90s, that number of 635,000 would be astronomically increased.

michael jackson katy perry tgj thatgrapejuice

It should be noted this isn’t the first time fans of pioneering pop stars have burned Billboard using new charting metrics to oust the legends from their reigning spots in history books.  Earlier this year Madonna fans were none-too-pleased when her ‘Rebel Heart’ album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 despite selling more than its competitor ‘Empire’ soundtrack.  Prior to that, Michael Jackson fans were in uproar when ‘Roar’ singer Katy Perry tied his record for ‘most #1 singles from one album’ with her ‘Teenage Dream’ set.

The comparisons beg the question:  should Billboard begin to note chart records in context?  In other words, should Adele, and subsequent “new age” artists, have their records contextually titled as “most digital downloads in one week” or should “highest selling song in one week” remain?

Tidbit:  In 2012, Adele also bested ‘The Bodyguard’ soundtrack to claim the title of ‘longest weeks at #1 on Billboard 200 by a female artist.’  This feat, however, was accomplished before Youtube began factoring streaming points into chart rankings.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Truth B Told November 18, 2015

    Billboard likes to rewrite history! I don’t really listen to them!

    • maurice November 18, 2015

      I stopped paying attention to Billboard when they introduced streaming as part of sales. Like what the actual f—?

    • Leah@ November 18, 2015

      Whitney, Mariah, Celine, Madonna.Janet

      then we have:

      Adele, Beyonce, Gaga etc..

      end of story

  2. Ben November 18, 2015

    flo rida’s song is called “right round”

  3. King B November 18, 2015

    Some fans are too much! Whitney is long gone and resting in piece. No one is taking away her complishments or denying her talents. She forever will remain the voice and her music will live long for decades. That being said, let another star get her moment too. People are buying her music and she is a legit singer. So stop bitching about everything!

    • Taylor Tori Azalea November 18, 2015

      Resting in PEACE you meant
      The only person who forever rest in pieces is Thotliyaah after that magical blast aka crash
      If you go by near the crash scene you would see where her pusSsy decomposed and her left leg was left there
      NOW that’s what I call resting in pieces

      • nonya November 18, 2015

        You are just so mean and hateful! Please go get laid and step away from the computer for a moment…..well maybe step away for eternity!

  4. cocobutta November 18, 2015

    Industry money was better then so prob no sweat to the greats. Billbord had to switch it up as everyone bar elite few are struggling for sales vs watered down hits that have no timeless longevity. Now Adelecalypse has quality so cant be hating on that.

    • Ok November 18, 2015

      The hood rat in your avi been struggling post 1998

      • cocobutta November 18, 2015

        Have some décorum (look it up uneducated h**).
        Stick to being the sideline h** troll rat you are and dismiss yourself from mine and the R&B goddesses Monica’s presence.

        Class Dismissed!! ????

      • Ok November 18, 2015

        Did you just call your hood rat fave a r&b godess stop dont make me bring up her horrible lack of international stats again

    • Ok November 18, 2015

      Did you just call your hood rat fave a r&b goddess stop it dont make me bring up your hood rat faves horrible non existent lack of international stats again

  5. Grande the Way November 18, 2015

    I stan for Whitney but I think fans of legends take these records to seriously. Like the post says, records are made to be broken. Sure single sales meant more back then because you actually had to get up, get dressed, and travel to purchase a single but a sale is a sale. It wouldn’t be fair to modern artist to diminish their accomplishments simply because they are from a different era. MJ is a legend because he has 5 #1s from one album. Whitney isn’t a legend because she sold 635,000 records in a week. Their legacies are so much more than these temporary records. 20 years from now, someone else will get 5 #1s on a single album or sell 1.5 million singles in a week. No point in being upset about it.

    • Grande the Way November 18, 2015

      *MJ isn’t

    • Ok November 18, 2015

      Your flop fave only went platinum from streaming her debut album went gold during the opening week for her sophomore album and her generic music is forgettable after a week

      • Grande the Way November 18, 2015

        Your comment has literally nothing to do with mine or the overall post. Try harder sweetheart. I don’t feed trolls.

      • Ok November 18, 2015

        When your fave can actually scan platinum from actual sales then you can talk to me

    • Royalkev November 18, 2015

      I haven’t even seen any of these Whitney fans online that are supposedly bitching about this record. They certainly don’t seem to do it here on TGJ. I think most Whitney fans won’t even give this the time of day!

  6. ????Queen Molly???? November 18, 2015

    Whitney’s old tired fans can have several seats. Adele is that bitchh… Know dat

    • Ok November 18, 2015

      But you stan for ciara so shut the fuçk up you weak spineless bïtch

      • Taylor Tori Azalea November 18, 2015

        @Ok I would have said the same
        but you already said it……………….

  7. al November 18, 2015

    I am one of the biggest Whitneys fans ever. Records are there to be broke. Whitney held it for 23 years thats an achievement fans can be proud of. This record was going to be beaten. We are in the digital age now no cds. Whitney set alot of records first to sell a million albums in a week, best selling soundtrack, female single. Someone one day will be the 7 Consecutive No1s. The Adele hype is huge you could compare it to Whitney/MJ mania. This is the most exciting release since i dont know when. Adele deserves this. 21 sold 30M. Cant wait to see the numbers roll in. Congrats least it isnt a digital artist pulling these numbers in

    • Rich November 19, 2015

      U could never compare her hype to Whitney and deff not MJ people used to sleep out side his house like he had the new iPhone for sales or like it was Black Friday. I know nothing to even let that filth of lies come out ur pie hole.

  8. PROUD NAVY November 18, 2015


    • Danny Bey November 18, 2015

      like Riherpes career? Have several t***** b****.

    • Danny Bey November 18, 2015

      Like Riherpes career? Have several.

  9. ASHTON November 18, 2015

    I am a huge Whitney Fan! My favorite vocalist of all time. i don’t think, anyone breaking her records will taint or take away anything from her legacy. She will always be remembered as being one of the greatest vocalists of all time. And if her record to be broken by another artist, I am pleased its an artist with actual talent like Adele. So all this billboard stuff means next to nothing both superstars.

  10. Ok November 18, 2015

    Adele is a overhyped slūt she only sells this much from her label overshipping her trash albums and frlm over hypement from you brainless bandwagoners

    • MS Jackson fan November 18, 2015

      Not this Brandy stan talking s***, please shut your illiterate ass up.

      • Ok November 18, 2015

        When did i ever say i was a brandy stan ? I dont stan for no artist i actually have a life unlike your deluded walfare ass i dobt spend my time “stanning” for strangers

      • Ok November 18, 2015

        When did i ever say i was a brandy stan ? I dont stan for no artist i actually have a life unlike your deluded welfare ass i dont spend my time “stanning” for strangers p.s your puppet looking fave aint been relevant since 2001

      • MS Jackson fan November 18, 2015

        So you didn’t call Brandy an RnB goddess in the Monica post, and boasted about her sales. You were stanning f**, with your illiterate ass. Furthermore, you wish I was on walfare, just because your family is on it, doesn’t mean everyone else is. Dumb b**** lol.

      • Ok November 18, 2015

        You slow tramp i never called brandy a r&b goddess in the monica post i called her iconic and i basically was bringing up monicas non existent international stats and p.s puppet muppet face jackson havent been relevent since 2001 go buy unbreakable because i havent heard much from it after it’s release week

      • MS Jackson fan November 18, 2015

        Goddess, iconic, does it matter you uneducated troll, you were still stanning. Now spend less time trolling, and more time in school you chromosome missing twit.

  11. Ok November 18, 2015

    You thatgrapejuice prostitutes cant handle me telling the real truth about yall flop faves well guess what i will continue shedding light on all of yall faves so called careers

    • Taylor Tori Azalea November 18, 2015

      Whitney is legend
      Adele is not even an Icon YET
      I see and understand why Whitney’s stans seethe
      Adele is overated

      • Taylor Tori Azalea November 18, 2015

        And this was not a Reply……… just a comment

      • Memo November 18, 2015

        And so is Beyoncé.

  12. Essa November 18, 2015

    I don’t think anything should be adjusted just because the digital era has made things simplier and lazier. The music biz should have NEVER gotten into bed with iTunes and streaming. That’s what’s killing it. Instead of placating peoples lazier or abusive online listening/buying habits, the industry should be taking a hard stance against it.

    If it were up to me, Billboard would NOT be factoring in streaming or iTunes purchases at all (or at the most, I would only account it for mattering for no more than 5%.) What’s being sold at retail stores and what’s playing on the radio should always be what matters first and foremost when compiling charts.

    I’m tired of seeing Billboard constantly rearranging deck chairs and coming up with sillier and sillier criteria just so that artists of today can look as significant as the ones before them. If these acts can’t compel people to buy their CDs (yes I SAID C-D’s), then f*** their streams and clicks. It’s totally ridiculous that YouTube/VEVO/Spotify are being tallied. I don’t care if that’s how people are listening to music now. How long before Facebook followers and Twitter retweets become added too?! Eff that noise. Hits are on the radio, not iPhones. Albums are at the store, not iTunes.

    • Career Ender November 18, 2015

      Hi Essa or is it Essay
      birch I the legendary career ender does not aprove yor essays nor your existence
      one more essay and I promise it will be your last

    • whut November 18, 2015

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Billboard is simply making it easier for these mediocre artists to become mega artists like the Legends without putting in half the work that they did. The majority of these artists from the last 5-10 years would never have made it past their first album if Billboard didn’t twist the rules for them.

    • TRAVON AUSTIN November 18, 2015

      You do know that iTunes is a store,right? Streaming music and buying an album on iTunes is 2 completely different things. ITunes accounts for over 35% of music sales in the music industry. What bothers me is streaming.

  13. whut November 18, 2015

    Whitney has so many other records still standing that neither Adele nor any other modern day pop star is ever going to break or even come close to breaking, so this should be a non issue. Its not like she re-released her album to manipulate her chart stats like in Katy Perry’s case.

  14. Fancy BISH November 18, 2015

    Real recognizes real…if Miss Whitney was alive, I think she would embrace Adele’s talent…Adele learned from the best 🙂 Plus, Miss Whitney sold over 45 million albums of The Bodyguard alone, making it the highest selling album for a female artist of ALL TIME…I think she remains unbothered by some singles chile lol

    • ronnoc November 18, 2015

      Doesn’t that record belong to shania?

  15. What now November 18, 2015

    When Madonna first started, platinum used to be 2 million and then it was changed a few years later to fit the artists of the 90’s… fast forward to now digital streaming equals album/single sales. All records are meant to broken. Billboard manipulates everything to make sure that the record gets broken. Same ole s***, just a different decade. Let it go Adele slays.

  16. Ok November 18, 2015

    You low life bums spend your time stanning for strangers how pathetic while yall continue to stan i will shedd light on yall faves “so called” careers and i will be spilling the truth

  17. janvier November 18, 2015

    The truth is these legends’ records no matter how many broken will forever remain LEGENDS. Whitney is loved not just because of the records broken but it includes that powerful live vocals only a very very few can boast of. That said let adele enjoy her success (though I still Feel she is a bit overrated).

  18. Suicide Blonde November 18, 2015

    If anyone’s success shouldn’t be questioned, it’s that of Adele, she’s actually experiencing the same type of success in terms of album sales that the likes of Whitney had in their prime, besides, the legacy of an artist is not based on record sales or chart success, it’s their impact in music what determines their status in the business.

  19. Casual-T November 18, 2015

    Context is self-evident to chart purists like me. Those of us old enough to remember when I Will Always Love You (IWALY) was released will tell you it exploded out the box every bit as quickly as Hello. Also, the sales universe for a single is now about 8 million. IWALY sold 4 milllion in an era when no song outsold it.

    Going back to context: Technically, End of the Road (13 weeks at #1 on the Hot 100) and IWALY (14 weeks) broke the 10 week record held by Bobby Darrin’s Mack the Knife, Debby Boone’s You Light Up My Life, and Olivia Newton John’s Physical, but I never really thought that was valid, b/c the Knife, Light, and Physical were released in chart earlier pre-Soundscan chart eras. (I don’t count Elvis Presley’s double-sided single Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel — 11 weeks at #1 — b/c it’s double-sided.)

    And what about the late 80s, when no song held #1 for more than 4 weeks (and only 11 songs did between 1985 and 1990)? I Wanna Dance with Somebody exploded out the box in the summer of 1987 and was only one of two singles sell 500k that year (the other was Push It by Salt-n-Pepa).

  20. No favs, just here for the music November 18, 2015

    Times have changed. Digital sales should count just as much as a physical copy. Do we even sell singles on CDs anymore?? Lol!

    Idk…there shouldn’t really be a fuss about this. The thing I can’t stand is how streaming counts as sales -_- I still find that to be ridiculous

  21. OMG Logic!!! November 18, 2015

    Do all you lessors know what Goddess remains completely unbothered? Queen Mariah. Her 16 weeks on top of Billboard still remain untouched.

    • Biting Truth November 19, 2015


  22. Oscar November 18, 2015

    sales don’t determine legends
    ex. Tayloose p****

    so either way Whitney will be remembered, & records are made to be broken

  23. King Stephy November 18, 2015

    Whitney ain’t thinking about y’all or that “record”. RIP Queen Nippy

  24. Theman November 18, 2015

    Streaming should not be mixed with actual sales. Pure sales and charts that are fused with sales/streaming should stand alone. Whitney stands by herself. Digital/Physical it’s a pure sale & not a stream. Adele moves mountains when it comes to sales altogether. Itunes is mainly big in terms of singles.

  25. TerryB November 18, 2015

    Billboard needs to specify for these new artist achievements because when they mention the Legends they specify theirs.

  26. JOHNVIDAL November 18, 2015

    Well, it´s obviously not the same. Nowadays singles are sold more than 20 years ago because of how cheap and easy to get they are (digital). I don´t need to say it is the total opposite when it comes to albums, I eman, they are cheaper now but 20 years ago albums SOLD. So of course what a digital song sells now can´t be compared to how good a physical single did decades ago.
    PS: All these legends´ records are so outstanding because there was actual competition back then. Adele has no competition. No othe rartist has done it BIG since the late 90s.

  27. Royalkev November 18, 2015

    Lol. I doubt Whitney fans are bent out of shape over this one! Her fanbase doesn’t strike me as the kind to nitpick over something this trivial. We know Whitney’s place in history and we’re quite secure with that understanding. Here’s the thing, today’s artists are going to “break records” left and right (by Whitney, MJ, Madonna, Janet, etc) because of all the advantages that come with this new age of music were in (streaming/Billboard leniency in adjusting rules to make these feats more obtainable). It’s just a factor that allows everyone to measure the impact of all the newbies being shove down our throats .

    The made up/”graded on a curb” type of records I ignore. Period. I can’t honor them; however, if Adele actually sold more units than Whitney, I’m fine with her owning the record. The fact stands that 1.1 million >>> 600k+, although I do understand the whole physical vs digital thing. I’m just satisfied if there’s some honesty in the numbers. That’s all that truly counts for me.

    S/N: People give Bey a hard time, but I really appreciate how she’s made her mark (in the traditional sense). She’s earned her #1 albums (nothing was discounted for .99 to reach a million in sales). People can try to spin the whole surprise release thing, but nothing can force me to purchase an album for $15.99, unless I want it! I have to be checking for that artist. Her Grammy winning streak is always hated on, but Beyonce was always the one to beat in each category she won in. The tour #’s are just that! I do believe that anything can be “fixed” IN THIS DECADE, but Bey’s reputation for being the ultimate performer gives me every reason to think those tour grosses are legitimate. Even the accumulated total of weeks(36) of all her #1’s didn’t come with discounts or clear channel privileges(although that’s something I’m now coming around to seeing as vital for the success of R&B divas that don’t get a 2nd glance when it comes to mainstream radio). Anyway, back to my bottom line, Billboard does play the hype game, but Adele may actually have this one!

  28. King Mark111 /.\ November 18, 2015

    Eh, digital sales ARE the new sales. The martket has changed and no one is even sending out single CDs, barley CD at all. Go to any store and the music section is the smallest in the room. It’s a new age, get over it.

  29. eric November 18, 2015

    Whitney’s legacy is secure. Let Adele build her own.

  30. DTG November 18, 2015

    I think it’s totally stupid that the singles market has expanded so much that singles are now regularly going near diamond, while the same albums that they’re cut from struggle to sell a million. Once upon a time, a gold selling single was impressive, a platinum single was huge and a 2x platinum single was massive. All these singles that are going 6x platinum today because people can click a button and have it on a whim is just silly. Billboard needs to fix that. What they should do is make it so it takes 3 iTunes download to carry the same weight as one physical single. And streaming points should be completely eliminated. Artists are breaking records with half the work that their predecessors had to put in. I don’t care about Adele. She’s doing real numbers, so if she takes a record from Whitney, then that’s just what happened. I’m talking about Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainer types who come along with some totally disposable song that the GP can’t hum the tune of, but breaks Billboard records because a bunch of closet fans or curious spectators are using a debit card to download, listen once and then never again.

  31. Bugnout77 November 19, 2015

    I am one of Whitney Houston’s biggest fans ever and I am sorry to say there is a huge difference between record sales in the 80s and 90s and record sales now digital downloads are nothing compared to going out and purchasing a full CD or a cassette single I am so sorry but there is a difference and it needs to be separate well I’m not downplaying a digital download but there is a complete difference to purchasing someone’s full CD or full cassette back in the day and downloading one song on your phone

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