Leona Lewis has become the first British solo artist to top the US album charts with a debut record.
The 23-year-old singing sensation – whose debut single Bleeding Love topped The Billboard Hot 100 chart three weeks ago – has gone straight to number one of The Billboard 200 after her album sold 205,000 copies in its first week.
The last British solo act to top the US album charts was Rod Stewart in 2006 with his LP Still the Same… Great Rock Classics Of Our Time. Sade was the last British female to claim the number one slot with her second album Promise in 1986.
Leona shot to fame when she won hit UK reality TV show The X Factor in 2006. She was subsequently signed to judge Simon Cowell’s record label, and her debut UK single A Moment Like This reached number one in the Christmas charts.
The London-born singer’s follow-up track ‘Bleeding Love’ also went straight to the top of the charts when it was released in October 2007.
Her album Spirit, released a month later, became the fastest-selling debut album in UK chart history, shifting 375,000 copies in its first week.
Leona’s bid to break America began when she signed with J Records boss Clive Davis, who launched the careers of Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake.
Last month, Oprah Winfrey predicted Leona would be the next big thing, declaring a “star is born” following her live performance on her US talk show.