Susan Boyle's upcoming "Gift" already a best-seller

Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:06pm EDT
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By Jason Lipshutz

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Susan Boyle announced the November 9 release of her second album, "The Gift," only three days ago, but already the set has shot to No. 1 on Amazon's Bestsellers chart based on pre-order sales.

The singer's sophomore effort reached the top spot Wednesday (September 22) in its second day as a pre-order, officially kicking off what Amazon director of music Craig Pape described as "the season of Susan" for the online retailer.

"It's pretty significantly No. 1," said Pape, who would not reveal specific sales figures but said that the volume of pre-orders has exceeded his expectations. "The Gift" has leapfrogged fourth-quarter efforts by Taylor Swift, Eric Clapton and Neil Young on the Bestsellers tally, with only pre-orders of Bob Dylan's "The Witmark Demos" coming close to Boyle's sales, according to Pape.

"It's a relative ranking, and a lot of it depends on the release schedule and what else is in the market," said Pape. "But looking at this list, you can see that it's a pretty strong slate of releases, so it's a non-trivial position to take the top slot during this release period."

Boyle is no stranger to Amazon's Bestsellers chart: her 2009 debut, "I Dreamed a Dream," broke records as Amazon Music's largest CD pre-order ever before it moved 3.8 million U.S. copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It is still unclear whether "The Gift" will rival the pre-order figures of "Dream," considering that "the pre-order window for this record is shorter" than that of the first album, Pape said.

As announced Tuesday, "The Gift" is set for release on SYCO/Columbia Records and will include Boyle's take on Christmas classics "O Holy Night" and "The First Noel" as well as performances of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." The album is displayed at the top of Amazon Music's main page with link to the pre-order and to Susan Boyle's artist page. Apple's iTunes store also prominently features "The Gift," and the album sits at No. 2 on Barnes & Noble's music bestsellers list.

"I personally expect to see it in that top slot for quite a while," said Pape. "Through street date and beyond, through Christmas, sales should stay very strong."

<p>Scottish singer Susan Boyle waves at Bellahouston Park, before the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI, in Glasgow September 16, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble</p>