Adele, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga lead first increase in record sales in seven years, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures.

This article titled “First rise in US album sales since 2004” was written by Sean Michaels, for guardian.co.uk on Friday 8th July 2011 11.54 UTC

Check the sky for flying pigs: US album sales are up. American industry experts report that for the first time since 2004, more music is being bought and sold in 2011 than during the same time last year – a difference of almost 2m albums. It's as if a sliver of light has penetrated the gloom of the music industry.

US album sales are up by 1% in the first half of 2011, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This is only the second time since 1999 that album sales have seen year-on-year growth. In comparison, the first half of 2010 showed an 11% drop from 2009's sales figures, and the UK's 2010 numbers were 7% lower than the previous year.

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