Leona Lewis blows away Spice Girls

LONDON (Reuters) – “X Factor” winner Leona Lewis broke another record as she topped both the single and album charts on Sunday, trouncing the newly reformed Spice Girls in the process.

Lewis’s “Spirit” broke the record for Britain’s fastest-selling debut album notching up 375,000 sales, 12,000 more than previous holders the Artic Monkeys managed last year, the Official UK Charts Company (OCC) said.

“Leona has secured her place in chart history in terms of debut albums,” said Darren Haynes, OCC Marketing Manager, adding that she was short of the fastest-selling album of all time, “Be Here Now”, by Oasis which sold 813,000 copies in seven days.

Nonetheless, it is the latest success for the 22-year-old singer, from Hackney in east London, who triumphed in last year’s “X Factor” TV talent show.

Her debut single, “A Moment Like This”, broke records when it was downloaded 50,000 times in the first half hour on release last December and sold 600,000 copies in its first week.

Last week, her latest single “Bleeding Love” became the year’s biggest-selling song and is still at number one, its fourth week in the top spot.

Lewis completely overshadowed the Spice Girls’ “Greatest Hits” album, released to mark their comeback, which had to make do with second place.

Irish boyband Westlife’s “Back Home” dropped from top spot to third, ahead of “Mothership” by Led Zeppelin, a collection coinciding with their reunion gig later this month.

Other new entries in the album chart were Celine Dion in fifth with “Taking Chances”, “Sawdust” from U.S. rock band Killers in seventh and “Vivere” by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.
There was little change in the singles charts, with reformed boyband Take That staying second behind Lewis with “Rule The World” and Timbaland unchanged in third with “Apologize”.
Australian pop star Kylie Minogue’s “2 Hearts” climbed up eight places to fourth, pushing “Valerie” by Mark Ronson and featuring Amy Winehouse down to fifth.

American soul star Alicia Keys dropped to sixth with “No One”, ahead of “Home” by Westlife, while indie rockers Bloc Party debuted in eighth with “Flux”.

In ninth was “Loch Lomond” a new entry from Scottish folk band Runrig featuring the Tartan Army, released to raise money for the BBC “Children in Need” appeal and in the run-up to Scotland’s crucial Euro 2008 soccer match against Italy that they lost.
Female trio Sugababes were 10th with “About You Now”.

Reporting by Michael Holden
By Reuters
November 18, 2007 11:44 PM