British sensation Leona Lewis has continued her record-breaking success as she conquers the U.S., with her album SPIRIT (J Records/SyCo Music) entering the Billboard album charts at #1 today with 204, 841 albums sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This is the first time in music history that a British female artist debuts at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, and it’s the first time ever that a British artist overall has debuted on the chart at #1 with a first album. It is also the biggest female artist first album debut since Carrie Underwood in 2005, and had the biggest digital album sales week ever for a new artist. No stranger to record-breaking success, just two weeks ago, Leona broke the Hot 100 Chart record, becoming the first British female solo artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart in over 21 years with her single “Bleeding Love,” which to date, has sold over 1 million tracks stateside and returns to the #1 spot this week on the Billboard Digital Songs Chart.
For the first time, Clive Davis and Simon Cowell teamed up to sign Lewis to J Records/ SyCo Music (Cowell’s joint venture with Sony BMG), and together produced SPIRIT. Comments Clive Davis: “Leona Lewis will not be an overnight sensation. She is the real deal and this is just the beginning of a long and illustrious career.” Comments Simon Cowell: “What Leona has achieved is simply incredible. This is the hardest market to crack and for her debut album to go in at number 1 is unbelievable.”