Adele’s ’21’ hits 9th week at No. 1

Lady Gaga's 'Born' powers up with Amazon promo

Adele’s “21” hung onto the summit of the U.S. album chart last week for a ninth week, but the U.K. singer will have to step aside for Lady Gaga in the coming week.

“21” (Columbia) shifted 138,000 copies to retain its roost, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending Sunday. While it dropped 12%, the hearty six-figure tally was potent enough for another stanza at No. 1. Collection, presently 2011’s bestseller, has moved more than 1.8 million units.

But Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” will blast in at the apex behind a wave of ubiquitous promotion in the coming week. Pundits estimate the Interscope album could sell anywhere between 750,000 and 1 million units out of the box. Last set to attain a seven-figure debut was Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now,” which launched with 1.04 million in November.

Sale of “Born” kicked off with a 99¢ full-album download promotion by Amazon on Monday. Ironically, heavy online traffic for this “Daily Deal” — designed to hype Amazon’s new cloud storage drive — crashed the company’s servers and sparked loud consumer complaints.

Last week’s chart exhibited pre-Gaga doldrums, with two albums by offshore talents making lightweight top-10 bows.

South African rock act Seether arrived at No. 2 with “Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray” (Wind-Up), which scanned 61,000 units, good for a career-high debut. Italian trio Il Volo’s self-titled Geffen set squeaked in at No. 10 with a mild 23,000-unit first week.

Week’s holdover titles included the “Now 38” comp (No. 3, 50,000 units, down 27%), country singer Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” (No. 4, 29,000, up 1%) and Brit folkies Mumford & Sons’ durable “Sigh No More” (No. 5, 25,000, off 10%).

Top 10 was filled out by Beastie Boys “Hot Sauce Committee Part 2” (No. 6, 24,000, off 42%), Lonely Island’s “Turtleneck & Chain” (No. 7, 24,000, down 65%), Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never — The Remixes” (No. 8, 23,000, off 18%) and Fleet Foxes’ “Helplessness Blues” (No. 9, 23,000, down 32%).