Leona Lewis’ Spooky Gaze Hypnotizes 205,000 Americans Into Buying Her Album

noah | April 16, 2008 2:00 am

The combined power of Simon Cowell, Oprah, Clive Davis, and Leona Lewis’ pupilless look resulted in the X Factor winner’s debut album, Spirit, debuting at No. 1 on the album charts this week. It sold 205,000 copies and probably inspired a lot of “the old model still works!!” back-slapping in the halls of J Records, although I’d hold off on any self-congratulation until the week two sales come out. (If people decide to pick up Spirit when they go on their new-Mariah-album run, maybe we can call this launch a successful one. For now, color me skeptical.)

Biggest Debuts: The upper echelons of the chart were full of new albums this week, with four debuts and one sorta-debut. In addition to Lewis, MuzikMafia member/Atlanta Braves fan James Otto entered the charts at No. 3 with his album Sunset Man, which sold 58,000 copies; sex tape star Ray J’s All I Feel debuted at No. 7 and moved 39,000 copies; and early-’00s relics P.O.D. debuted at No. 9 with When Angels And Serpents Dance, which sold 34,000 copies. Also, Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts I-IV, which hit SoundScannable shelves a month after being made available via the Internet, debuted at No. 14, selling 26,000 copies.

Another album that looked like a debut, but actually had a long-dormant chart life, was the Time-Life compilation Body + Soul: Midnight Fire, which sold 28,000 copies after selling about 1% of that a week ago. What inspired this spike? Did Time-Life finally hook a SoundScan reader up to its call center? I have no idea.

Notable Jumps: Somehow, enough people who didn’t own Daughtry watched last week’s “Idol Gives Back,” propelling it back into the top 20 on a 44% gain (25,000 albums sold). His “IGB” performance of “What About Now” also came in at No. 10 on the Digital Tracks chart, selling 65,000 copies–it came in right behind Carrie Underwood’s cover of “Praying For Time,” which moved 66,000 AACs. Jordin Sparks also saw a boost from the charityathon, selling 24,000 copies and coming in on the charts right behind the bald-headed also-ran.

Dropping Off: Last week’s No. 1 and No. 2 albums, George Strait’s Troubadour and R.E.M.’s Accelerate, had sales slumps in the 60% range, but thanks to the field mostly being weak, they hung on to their top-five slots.

Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: The Alvin And The Chipmunks soundtrack continued its reign of chart terror by sitting at No. 6, despite a 22% week-to-week sales drop. How much longer must we suffer? I ask you.

The top 20, with sales totals in parentheses: 1. Leona Lewis, Spirit (205,000) 2. George Strait, Troubadour (59,000) 3. James Otto, Sunset Man (58,000) 4. Now 27 (47,000) 5. R.E.M., Accelerate (46,000) 6. Alvin & The Chipmunks soundtrack (40,000) 7. Ray J, All I Feel (39,000) 8. Rick Ross, Trilla (34,000) 9. P.O.D., When Angels And Serpents Dance (34,000) 10. Danity Kane1, Welcome To The Dollhouse (28,000) 11. Body & Soul: Midnight Fire (28,000) 12. Panic At The Disco, Pretty Odd (27,000) 13. Taylor Swift (26,000) 14. Nine Inch Nails, Ghosts I-IV (26,000) 15. Jack Johnson, Sleep Through The Static (26,000) 16. Daughtry (25,000) 17. Jordin Sparks (24,000) 18. Day 26 (24,000) 19. Counting Crows, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings (23,000) 20. Raconteurs, Consolers Of The Lonely (23,000)