Jones' latest sets Amazon.com record

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LONDON -- Hailed by critics as her best album to date, the new release from jazz vocalist Norah Jones, "Not Too Late," was the most preordered album of all time on the online retailer Amazon.com.

 The album, riding high in digital charts, gives a timely boost to EMI, the parent music company of her Blue Note label, which issued a profit warning earlier this month. EMI had tipped the album by the 27-year-old singer to be a big seller for the second half of its fiscal year.

 The album was released around the world last week and in the United States on Tuesday, EMI said. It was No. 1 in the iTunes online music store in Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Switzerland, according to the iTunes Web site.

 It also was No. 1 on the Amazon.co.uk music chart.

 In terms of advance orders, "Not Too Late" ranks as the biggest seller in Amazon's 11-year history, surpassing the previous record held by country pop trio the Dixie Chicks.

 Amazon does not disclose its actual album sale totals.

 "Amazon.com continues to be one of our top retailers for Norah Jones' work," Saul Shapiro, senior vice president of sales for Blue Note said in a statement. "We were very pleased that Amazon's customers were so enthusiastic once again about Norah's unique, intimate sound."

 The daughter of Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar and former U.S. music promoter Sue Jones, the New York-based singer and pianist received glowing reviews for her latest album, Billboard magazine called "her most complete and satisfying record to date."

 EMI issued a profit warning on January 12 and ousted its two top music executives after poor Christmas sales from a number of artists, among them Robbie Williams.

 "Not Too Late" follows the earlier chart-topping releases "Come Away with Me" in 2002 and "Feels Like Home" in 2004.

 "There's been a great deal of expectation around the Norah Jones album for some time," Music retailer HMV's Gennaro Castaldo told Reuters.

 Analysts at UBS said "Jones remains one of EMI's key artists, so this should be more reassuring news post the recent warning."
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