Its opening total is almost double that of the previous best sales start of the year to date, 165,000 copies, achieved only a week earlier by Justin Bieber's Never Say Never: The Remixes, and the best by a British artist since Sade's Soldier Of Love debuted at number one last February with 502,000 sales.
The album, released by Columbia/XL in the States, is also joined in the Billboard 200's Top 50 by its 2008 predecessor 19, which moves from 50-16, while 21's lead-off single Rolling In The Deep is expected to reach another peak when the new Hot 100 chart is revealed later this week, having last week sprinted 41-26.
As part of the promotion for the new album, Adele has appeared on a number of key TV programmes in the States over the past fortnight including NBC's Today, The Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Chelsea Lately.
She will begin a North American tour on May 12 starting in Washington and concluding in Nashville on June 20 before returning to the UK to play the iTunes Festival at the Roundhouse on July 7.