Susan Boyle debut a hit in Japan

Singer appeared on Japanese New Year's Eve program

TOKYO -- Susan Boyle's international hit album "I Dreamed a Dream" (Syco/Sony Music Entertainment) is also making an impact in Japan.

"I Dreamed a Dream" reached No. 6 in Billboard's Japan Albums charts on Dec. 19, the highest ranked album by a non-Japanese artist that week and the only one in the top 10 apart from Michael Jackson's "This Is It."

Boyle's debut has moved more than 106,000 units since its release in Japan according to SoundScan Japan, making it the top selling album for a non-Japanese artist in Japan from Nov. 25-Jan. 3.

In addition, Boyle made a hastily arranged trip to Japan to appear on the year-end musical extravaganza "Kohaku" ("The Red & White Singing Contest"). An estimated 1,000 fans greeted her at Narita Airport near Tokyo on Dec. 29.

Her performance on "Kohaku" was a ratings success. The segment she was in, the second half of the show, garnered a 40.8% rating in the Kanto (Tokyo and environs) area according to the industry-leading tracking firm Video Research Ltd. The first half of the four-hour program, which did not feature Boyle, received a 37.1% rating in the Kanto area.

In the Kansai (Osaka and environs) region the difference was more marked. Boyle's "Kohaku" segment received a 40.3% rating but the one without her got 34.9%.