On Sunday, November 18, Leona Lewis’ debut album Spirit went straight to number one as well as becoming the UK’s fastest-selling debut album of all time. The previous UK record was set by the Arctic Monkeys, who sold 363,735 copies of Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not in January 2006. This week Spirit sold a phenomenal 375,872 copies.
In the busiest week for Christmas album releases, Spirit was up against huge established acts such as the Spice Girls, Led Zeppelin and Celine Dion. Spirit beat the number two album, by the Spice Girls, by a staggering 300,085 copies.
On its first day of UK sales, Spirit sold over 130,000 copies, which was outselling the rest of the top ten put together. On average it worked out that Leona was selling an amazing 200 albums per minute. These unprecedented sales have bucked the recent trend of CD sale slumps and already industry experts are predicting that Spirit could go on to sell over a million copies before the year ends in the UK alone.
Leona’s current single “Bleeding Love” held onto the number one spot for the fourth week running, this week keeping Kylie Minogue off the top spot. So far it has sold an incredible 563,702 copies in just 4 weeks, beating the previous record set by Mika with “Grace Kelly.” Leona enjoyed similar success last year with her debut single “A Moment Like This,” the biggest selling single of 2006.
Simon Cowell said, “this is Leona’s day. I am absolutely thrilled for her.”
Clive Davis said: “From the songwriters showcase we held for Leona in Los Angeles in February, to the selection of the material and then throughout the entire recording process, this has truly been a terrific experience. It’s an absolute thrill to see Leona’s single and album explode to number one. We’re now diligently preparing for her major U.S. debut, taking nothing for granted but knowing that Leona’s prodigious talent will win out.”
Spirit is scheduled for release in the U.S. on March 18th on J Records/Syco and will be preceded by “Bleeding Love,” which is set for release on January 14th.