Leona Lewis' 'Spirit' tops Billboard 200

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UPDATED 5:22 P.M. PT, April 16, 2008

Take that, Amy Winehouse.

English singer Leona Lewis has done what her Grammy-laden countrywoman could not: score a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. In doing so, Lewis becomes the first British female solo act to top the chart with a debut album.

In fact, "Spirit" is the first disc by any solo Brit woman to hit the summit since Sade's "Promise" in February 1986, when Lewis was not even a year old.

The album from the big-voiced winner of England's TV singing competition "The X Factor" (Syco, 205,000 units) more than tripled the sales of its closest rival for the week ending April 13. Adding to Lewis' magical week, her single "Bleeding Love" returns to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 after falling to No. 4 two weeks ago.

The three other albums that debut in the top 10 this week cut a wide swath through the musical landscape -- from country to R&B/rap to Christian metal.

Nashville-based singer-songwriter James Otto breaks out in a big way with "Sunset Man" (Raybaw, 58,000), which opens at No. 3. It's his first album to hit the big chart; Otto's debut, "Days of Our Lives," spent one week at No. 61 on Top Country Albums in March 2004.

Multihyphenate Ray J scores his first top 10 with his fourth album, "All I Feel" (Knockout, 39,000). The set is fueled by the single "Sexy Can I," with rapper Yung Berg, which has given both artists their first top three hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

Veteran Christian metal act P.O.D. returns to the top tier with "When Angels & Serpents Dance" (INO, 34,000). It's the San Diego band's fourth top 10, dating to 2001's triple-platinum "Satellite."



Elsewhere in the top 10: George Strait's "Troubadour" (MCA Nashville, 59,000 units) slips to No. 2 after debuting on top last week, the "Now 27" hits disc (Sony BMG/EMI/Universal/Zomba, 47,000) dips a notch to No. 4, and R.E.M.'s "Accelerate" (Warner Bros., 46,000) falls three rungs to No. 5 in its second week, the "Alvin and the Chipmunks" soundtrack (Razor & Tie, 40,000) loses one spot to No. 6.

A pair of former No. 1s round out the top tier: Rick Ross' "Trilla" (Slip-N-Slide, 34,000) gains a place to No. 8, and Danity Kane's "Welcome to the Dollhouse" slides three spots to No. 10.

Overall album sales were 7.36 million units, down 7.8% from last week and down 8.6% from the same week in 2007.

Billboard contributed to this report.


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