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Susan Boyle soars in record-smashing debut

By Rito Asilo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:08:00 12/04/2009

Filed Under: Music, Celebrities

MANILA, Philippines ? This week, Susan Boyle makes dreaming fashionable again: She has just released her first solo recording, ?I Dreamed A Dream,? in record-busting fashion. The 12-track album opens at No. 1 in 15 countries!

In Boyle?s recording debut, the 47-year-old singing sensation transcends age, physical appearance and spectacle. In fact, there?s not much high-tech innovation to her sleekly produced songs, but her self-assured renditions of show tunes (the title track culled from the stage musical, ?Les Miserables?), bluesy standards (Julie London?s ?Cry Me A River,? Skeeter Davis? ?The End of the World?), ballads (the rousing original, ?Who I Was Born to Be?), gospel (?Amazing Grace,?) and Christmas carols (?Silent Night?) are more than enough to please music buffs who prefer authentic, talent-fueled singing over flashy, machine-enhanced performances.

Danger and spite

For instance, you can play Boyle?s cover of ?Cry Me A River? alongside Michael Bubl?s recent remake of the emotionally charged ballad, and you?ll realize that talented performers with genuinely sturdy pipes have a way of making any song their own. While the Canadian balladeer sprinkles danger and spite into his rendition, Boyle imbues hers with a certain je ne sais quoi wistfulness.

Music lovers around the world are showing their support and appreciation by turning Boyle into the biggest recording sensation of the season: On the Billboard 200 chart, Rihanna (?Rated R?), Lady Gaga (?The Fame Monster?),

Miley Cyrus (?The Time of Our Lives?), Taylor Swift (?Fearless?), Carrie Underwood (?Play On?) and Norah Jones (?The Fall?) take the back seat to give the No. 1 slot to Boyle.

Controversial

Curiously, only two men make it to the top 10 this week: Andrea Bocelli is at No. 2 with ?My Christmas,? while Adam Lambert?s controversial ?For You Entertainment? opens at No. 3. (Interestingly, ?American Idol? champ, Kris Allen?s self-titled album debuted last week at No. 11, while Lambert?s pre-?Idol? recording, ?Take One,? charted only at No. 72).

If you wonder just how impressive Susan Boyle?s album sales are, here?s an instructive comparison: Last month, Barbra Streisand got her ninth No. 1 album when her 63rd studio recording, ?Love Is the Answer,? debuted on top of the pop chart: It sold 180,000 copies on its first week.

This week, Susan Boyle vanquished all competition when ?I Dreamed A Dream? took the top spot of the Billboard 200, with 701,000 copies sold?the biggest one-week sales total of the year, and the highest debut ever for a solo female artist in the Soundscan era!



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