Ed Sheeran has secured the best start yet for a brand new UK male solo act in Billboard 200 chart history by + debuting this week at number five.
The Warner album sold 42,000 copies in the States last week, placing it behind new albums from Usher (Looking 4 Myself), Rush (Clockwork Angels) and Josh Turner (Punching Bag) and Adele’s omnipresent 21. Some 79% of its sales were on downloaded, helped by iTunes making The A Team its free single of the week and promoting it on its home page.
A number of British female solo artists have charted in the Billboard 200’s Top 10 first week with their debut albums, including Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle whose introductory sets Sprit and I Dreamed A Dream entered at number one in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Fellow Syco act One Direction, who are signed to Columbia Records in the US, matched that feat earlier this year when Up All Night became the first debut by a British band to start at number one on the chart.
However, Top 10 entries by UK male artists with their first albums on the Billboard 200 are extremely rare and none has started higher previously than Ed Sheeran. Taio Cruz, who is signed to Mercury in the US, entered at number eight in 2009 with his first Stateside album Rockstarr, while Craig David just missed out on a Top 10 start in 2000 when Born To Do It turned up at number 11. Thom Yorke’s first solo album The Eraser entered at number two in 2006, although this followed US chart successs he had achieved with Radiohead.
Sheeran begins a North American tour in Toronto on September 17. He quit the last four days of a tour in the region in May supporting Snow Patrol, saying he had to return to the UK for “personal reasons”
Ed Sheeran is at the clear port!
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