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Susan Boyle

Fame Pictures, Inc

Sex sells. As do controversy and scandal. But apparently not as much as a high note-hitting underdog from Scotland.

Fresh off her chart domination of the U.K., Susan Boyle has gone all Braveheart on our musical shores, nearly quadrupling the sales of her nearest new competitor (that would be Adam Lambert not—surprise, surprise—Rihanna. Guess sex and scandal ain't such a bad combo, either. Nor is placing second on a reality show).

Boyle's I Dream a Dream sold a massive 701,000 copies its first week out, easily securing its spot atop the Billboard album charts, along with a guaranteed mention or two four in the annals of chart records. Behold the domination that is SuBo:

Boyle's album is now the biggest debut of 2009 (better luck on your next comeback, Eminem), the highest debut ever for a female solo artist since SoundScan began keeping track of such records, the second biggest debut album in SoundScan history (Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle moved 803,000 copies back in '93), and adds the U.S. to her ever-lengthening list of global number ones. She's already earned the prime spot in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and, of course, the U.K., where she moved 410,000 copies—the biggest debut in British chart history.

Which isn't to say Rihanna and the Glambert didn't make good showings of their own. They just weren't good enough.

Proving that controversy sells—and that Simon Cowell apparently rules the world—the AMA shock-rocker landed a solid third with his debut, For Your Entertainment. Lambert sold 198,000 copies of the album, easily beating American Idol champ Kris Allen's comparatively measly 80,000-strong entry last week.

It was also enough to make musical mincemeat of Rihanna's Rated R, which, despite her soul-baring promotional push, sold just a smidge less, with 181,000. It was still enough to beat her own personal best, however—her previous high was Good Girl Gone Bad, which sold 162,000 for its debut.

As for the mystery No. 2? Well, 'tis the season to feel jolly, and Andrea Bocelli's My Christmas is apparently fitting the bill for Americans, earning its second week in the second spot.

Not so lucky: John Mayer, whom buyers no longer seem so keen to encourage. While he held last week's top spot, his Battle Studies slipped completely out of the top sellers this week, falling to No. 13. Lady Gaga seemed to pick up his slack, with both of her current releases placing.

Here's the rest of the Top 10:

1. I Dreamed a Dream, Susan Boyle
2. My Christmas, Andrea Bocelli

3. For Your Entertainment, Adam Lambert
4. Rated R, Rihanna
5. The Fame Monster, Lady Gaga

6. The Fame, Lady Gaga7. The Time of Our Lives, Miley Cyrus
8. Fearless, Taylor Swift
9. Play On, Carrie Underwood
10. The Fall, Norah Jones


Will Susan Boyle score a Grammy nomination when the honorees are named tonight? Gear up for music's biggest night with a look at our 10 Years of Winners gallery.