British sensation Leona Lewis has become the fourth best-selling artist worldwide in 2008, thanks to the success of her debut album, the R.I.A.A. platinum-certified Spirit, which has sold more than four and a half million copies worldwide. In addition, Spirit has sold more than 1.17 million copies in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan, making 23-year-old Lewis the seventh best-selling artist in the country so far in 2008. Spirit, a mix of pop and R&B, filled with songs with a contemporary edge, features an all-star roster of collaborators including Ryan Tedder (“Apologize”), songwriter/producers Akon, Ne-Yo, Dallas Austin, Stargate, J.R. Rotem, Max Martin, and Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald (Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne). For the first time, Clive Davis and Simon Cowell teamed up to sign Lewis to J Records/SyCo Music (Cowell’s division of Sony BMG), and together produced Spirit. Spirit has been on a record-breaking tear ever since its release in November 2007 in the U.K., where it entered the British album chart at No.1 and became the U.K.’s fastest-selling debut of all time. In the U.S., Spirit debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart a week after its release by J Records/SyCo Music on April 8th, 2008, marking the first time in music history that any album by a British female artist has entered Billboard’s Top 200 album chart at No. 1, as well as the first time any British artist, male or female, has claimed the top spot with a debut album.
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