British import Leona Lewis' "Spirit" bows atop The Billboard 200 this week, making her the first U.K. solo artist to start at No. 1 with their debut effort. The Syco/J album moved 205,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, with sales fueled by her No. 1 Hot 100 single "Bleeding Love." The singer was discovered on Simon Cowell's "The X Factor" in Britain.
Lewis becomes the first Brit solo act to lead The Billboard 200 since Rod Stewart's "Still the Same... Great Rock Classics of Our Time" in the Oct. 28, 2006 issue. Moreover, she becomes the first British female soloist to do so since Sade's "Promise" reached No. 1 in February 1986, a couple of months before Lewis' first birthday.
The release of "Spirit" stirs an 11% rise for "Bleeding Love," which returns to No. 1 on Hot Digital Songs with 223,000 sold for the week (2-1). The song has sold 1.1 million copies since U.S. downloads became available in late December, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Last week's Billboard 200 chart-topper George Strait's "Troubadour" (MCA Nashville) falls to No. 2 with 59,000, a 65% sales slide.
Country singer James Otto scores his first Billboard 200 ink with "Sunset Man," which debuts at No. 3 with 58,000. The singer's sophomore set, released via Raybaw/Warner Bros., is led with the single "Just Got Started Lovin' You," which climbed to a new peak 5-4 on Hot Country Songs this week.
The multi-label "NOW 27" compilation continues its decline 3-4 with 47,000, a 21% sales hit. With 46,000 and a 60% sales reduction, R.E.M.'s Warner Bros. set "Accelerate" falls 2-5. The Fox/Razor & Tie soundtrack to "Alvin and the Chipmunks" slips 5-6 to 40,000 (-22%).
With the help of hit "Sexy Can I" with Yung Berg, Ray J's "All I Feel" (Knockout /DEJA34/Koch) enters at No. 7 with 39,000, making it his best charting album yet. His former best came with 2001's "This Ain't a Game," which peaked at No. 21. "Sexy Can I" has peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100 thus far.
With 34,000, Rick Ross' "Trilla" (Slip-N-Slide/Def Jam) falls 6-9 on a 20% sales dip. The group's first effort for INO/Columbia, P.O.D. enters at No. 9 with "When Angels & Serpents Dance" with 34,000. The slot is a familiar one for the hard rock troupe, as 2006's "Testify" and 2004's "Payable on Death" also arrived there.
Danity Kane's Bad Boy album "Welcome to the Dollhouse" rounds out the top tier, slipping 7-10 with 28,000 (41%).
Nine Inch Nails' self-released instrumental album "Ghosts I-IV," which was released digitally last month, debuts at No. 14 with 26,000 after its physical release by RED Distribution. Previously, fans were able to obtain the album for only $5 online; NIN says it reaped $1.6 million in sales during its first week.
"Unfold" (Hollywood) by Marie Digby, who gained a following after posting an acoustic version of Rihanna's "Umbrella" on YouTube, starts at No. 29 with 18,000. Ashes Divide's Island debut, "Keep Telling Myself It's Alright," bows at No. 36 with 16,000.