April 17, 2008 / 12:59 AM / 10 years ago

Leona Lewis tops U.S. album chart

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - New pop sensation Leona Lewis debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart this week, the first British woman to achieve this feat, her record label said on Wednesday.

Leona Lewis performs at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills, California February 9, 2008. The Grammy awards will be given out in Los Angeles on February 10. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (

Just three weeks ago, the 23-year-old winner of British talent show “X Factor” rewrote the history books when her song “Bleeding Love” hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart.

It was the first time a British female solo artist had topped the chart since Kim Wilde went to No. 1 in 1987 with a cover of the Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”

“Bleeding Love” is from the album “Spirit,” which sold 205,000 copies this week in the United States.

Simon Cowell, a record executive who groomed Lewis and appeared as a judge on “X Factor,” called the achievement “simply incredible.

“This is the hardest market to crack and for her debut album to go in at number 1 is unbelievable,” he said in a statement.

The Daily Variety trade publication said “Spirit” ranks as the biggest-selling debut by a female artist since former “American Idol” champ Carrie Underwood’s “Some Hearts” debuted at No. 2 with 314,500 copies in November 2005.

Lewis won “X Factor” in 2006, securing a contract with Cowell’s Syco Records, which partnered on the project with New York-based J Records.

“Spirit” debuted at No. 1 in the UK last November, while “Bleeding Love” was Britain’s biggest-selling single last year.

J Records is a unit of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a joint venture between Sony Corp and Bertelsmann AG.

Reporting by Dean Goodman and Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato

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