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LONDON — ITV’s “The X Factor” series tightened its stranglehold on the U.K. sales charts, securing a double victory for creator/judge Simon Cowell’s Sony Music-distributed Syco Music label.
The 2007 “X Factor” winner Leona Lewis scored a new entry at No. 1 with her second album “Echo,” while the show’s 2009 finalists debuted atop the singles chart with a charity cover of Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone.”
Lewis sold 161,000 copies of “Echo,” compared to an opening 375,000 for its predecessor “Spirit” two years ago, according to Official Chart Company data. The new release pushed 2008 “X Factor” runners-up JLS down to No. 2 with their self-titled debut album.
Parlophone/EMI’s new “Absolute Greatest” compilation by Queen debuted at No. 3, fuelled by a Nov. 15 appearance on, yes, “The X Factor.” Brian May and Roger Taylor’s performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody” with the show’s 2009 finalists took that 1975 classic back into the singles top 100 (beneath the published top 75) at No. 93. Contestant Stacey Solomon’s interpretation of Queen’s 1986 U.K. top 30 hit “Who Wants To Live Forever” Nov. 14 sent the band’s original back in at No. 63, while a cover of “Don’t Stop Me Now” by another hopeful, Olly Murs, generated new downloads of the original for a reappearance at No. 82.
All Around The World/UMTV’s U.K. hip-hop outfit N-Dubz charted at No. 6 with their second album “Against All Odds,” as Will Young’s “The Hits” collection (19/Sony Music Entertainment) started at No. 9 and Stereophonics’ “Keep Calm and Carry On” (V2/Universal) at No. 11, a disappointment for the Welsh band after five successive U.K. No. 1 studio albums.
The Jackson cover, which features the final 12 acts in this year’s “X Factor,” is raising money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. Cowell has now decided to release a charity single by the series’ finalists each year, after the 2008 artists spent three weeks at No. 1 this time last year with a version of Mariah Carey’s “Hero.”
Black Eyed Peas’ “Meet Me Halfway” (Interscope/Universal), last week’s bestselling single, fell to No. 2, while U.S. breakthrough artist Jason Derulo’s Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 and million-seller “Whatcha Say” (Warner Bros.) opened at No. 3. Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” (Interscope/Universal) climbed 11-8.
Black Eyed Peas’ previous single “I Gotta Feeling” climbed 2-1 on Billboard’s European Hot 100 Singles, while Robbie Williams made a winning return to European Albums, debuting at No. 1 with “Reality Killed The Video Star” (Virgin/EMI).
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