Leona Lewis makes US album chart history

Leona Lewis has become the first British artist to debut at Number One in the US album chart.

Leona Lewis has become the first British artist to debut at Number One in the US album chart.

The 23-year-old former receptionist made history today with her first album 'Spirit'.

Her record-breaking success comes almost three weeks after the 'X Factor' winner became the first British female solo artist in 21 years to top the US singles chart.

X Factor judge Simon Cowell, who has masterminded the singer’s career since she won the TV talent show in 2006, said today: “What Leona has achieved is simply incredible.

“This is the hardest market to crack and for her debut album to go in at Number One is unbelievable.”

Lewis, who is set to perform to 30 million people, her biggest audience yet, when she sings live on TV show American Idol later this month, has sold 204,841 copies of Spirit this week in the US.

Her nearest rival in the Billboard Top 200, the album Troubadour by George Strait, has sold 59,000 copies, Lewis’s spokesman said.

Lewis was signed to SyCo Music, Cowell’s division of Sony BMG, after winning the X Factor.

She is signed jointly in the US to music legend Clive Davis’s label J Records.

Music mogul Davis, who discovered Whitney Houston, said: “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.”

Spirit was the fastest selling debut album of all time in the UK and sold more than two million copies within weeks.

Lewis’s single 'Bleeding Love' topped charts in 10 countries around the world before clinching pole position in US charts and knocking Usher from the top spot.

In the UK, Bleeding Love was the biggest-selling single of 2007 staying at Number One for seven weeks and selling more than one million copies.

Sade was the last British woman to top the US album chart, with Promise in 1986.

But Lewis is the first British solo artist to debut at Number One.

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