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The chart-topping debut marks a number of milestones, including its status as the first-ever digital-only release to enter at #1.

HOPE FLOATS!

Spoon and Grammy Nominees Albums Debut in Top 5, as Charity Album Smashes Records at #1
Talk about providing hope. Hope for Haiti Now, the instant album created virtually overnight at last Friday’s benefit telethon and sold digitally on iTunes, among others, not only raised millions for the earthquake-damaged country, but climbed to #1 on the HITS Album sales tally, with 174k downloads.

The chart-topping debut marks a number of milestones, including its status as the first-ever digital-only release to enter at #1, and it won’t be the last, either. This January also marked the first time in chart history that four separate titles debuted at #1, and it’s the first January since 2005 in which all four #1 albums sold more than 100k apiece.

Merge indie critical darlings Spoon’s Transference is the week’s other top newcomer at #4., while Capitol/EMI’s 2010 Grammy Nominees compilation enters at #5. Columbia’s Susan Boyle (#2) and red-hot Interscope diva Lady Gaga’s The Fame deluxe edition (#3) round out the Top 5.

J Records/RMG’s Alicia Keys (#6), XL/Beggars Banquet’s Vampire Weekend (#7), Interscope’s Black Eyed Peas (#8), Kemosabe/RCA/RMG’s Ke$ha (#9) and Big Machine’s Grammy-nominated Taylor Swift album, Fearless (#10) complete the leader board.

Other first-timers to the Top 50 include Columbia’s Motion City Soundtrack, their major label debut (#15), New West’s Golden Globe-winning Crazy Heart soundtrack (46) and Justin Timberlake imprint Tennman’s Matt Morris (#50), who accompanied his label head on a version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” the top-selling individual track on the Hope for Haiti Now compilation.

Leading the increases for the week is 19/RCA/RMG Idol alum Adam Lambert, whose debut, For Your Entertainment, soared #34-20, +61% thanks to the Oprah Effect.

A pair of Grammy nominees—RCA/RMG’s Kings of Leon (#35-32, +11%) and the Black Eyed Peas (+10%)—also register double-digit gains.

Next week, expect an explosive debut from Capitol Nashville’s Grammy-nominated country stars Lady Antebellum, with new releases also from Manhattan/EMI’s Celtic Woman and Arista/RMG’s Barry Manilow The Greatest Love Songs of All Time collection.

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