‘Hope for Haiti’ album shakes up U.S. pop chart

Reuters reports that the “Hope For Haiti Now” album debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart, becoming the first digital-only release to achieve this feat since records were first kept nearly 54 years ago, according to sales data issued on Wednesday. The album, featuring songs performed by the likes of Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift at last Friday’s nationally televised telethon, sold 171,000 copies, said tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan.

Since the tracking week runs through Sunday, the “Hope for Haiti Now” numbers represented just two full days of sales. By contrast, Susan Boyle’s former chart-topper “I Dreamed a Dream” held at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart after selling 86,000 copies during the full week.

The two-hour fund-raiser, organized by actor George Clooney and Haitian-born rapper Wyclef Jean, also featured performances by Shakira, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Bono, Beyoncé, Sting, Justin Timberlake and dozens of other stars.

Watched by a total of 83 million viewers in the United States and millions more online, the event has raised more than $61 million so far, organizers said.

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