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U.S. music sales rise for first time since 2004

Lady Gaga Getty

(CBS/AP) In what's mildly surprising news, music sales in the United States are up. Finally, there's more music out there that people are willing to pay for rather than steal. So maybe everyone in the United States owes Lars Ulrich an apology.

Pictures: Lady Gaga

U.S. music album sales grew in the first six months of the year from a year ago, the first gain since 2004, thanks to rising sales of digital tracks and albums.

Tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan said Wednesday that overall album sales rose nearly 4 percent to 221.5 million units, from 213.6 million a year ago.

The figure includes compact discs and digital albums. Nielsen also counts 10 tracks sold individually as one album.

The top-selling album was Adele's "21," with 2.5 million albums sold, while Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" came second with 1.5 million albums, thanks largely to a promotion on Amazon.com that sold her album for a heavily discounted 99 cents.