It is the album that has taken a kid from a council estate to being the world’s best-selling singer for two years on the spin. And now Adele’s 21 has helped British acts secure a record 13.3 per cent share of global album sales, after being named the biggest-selling record in the world for a second year in a row.

The figure has risen from 12.6 per cent in 2011, also helped by boyband phenomenon One Direction, whose albums Up All Night and Take Me Home were the third and fourth best-selling albums in the world. Rod Stewart’s album Merry Christmas Baby was the world’s eight biggest-selling album, while folk group Mumford & Sons were in tenth place with their album, Babel, meaning that five of the top ten biggest global sellers of 2012 were by British artists.

Adele’s achievement, selling 4.4 million copies in the US 2012 after shifting 5.8 million in 2011, means it also the fifth time in six years that a British star has had the world’s number one selling album, following Susan Boyle in 2009, Coldplay in 2008 and Amy Winehouse in 2007.

It is the first time that one album has topped the US sales chart for two years in a row since Nielsen Soundscan began tracking album sales in 1991. The record-breaking success of the 24-year-old north Londoner’s second album, 21, has earned her seven Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards, three American Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards, MOBO Awards and Urban Music Awards. The star and her Old Etonian partner Simon Konecki, 38, are now focusing on family life following the birth of their first son last year.

Yesterday, David Cameron hailed the global success of British music after the figures were released by the British Phonographic Industry. He said: ‘We should be extremely proud of how our world-leading music industry continues to go from strength to strength, with a record share of the global market and with British acts having the world’s top selling album for five of the last six years. The British acts’ success has been credited to a willingness to tour the United States extensively and an ability to produce the kind of melodic song which appeals to radio programmers in countries where the medium remains crucial to mainstream success. ‘British music is enjoyed across the world and we will keep backing our creative industries that support jobs, create opportunities and contribute to the economy.’