[artist id="3180740"]Susan Boyle[/artist] is officially a worldwide phenomenon. After breaking the record for the fastest-selling debut album in U.K. history, Boyle has conquered American shores as well with I Dreamed a Dream.
With more than 700,000 in sales, according to Columbia Records, Dream will not only claim the biggest debut of 2009 in the U.S. when it charts next week — beating out the 608,000 for Eminem's Relapse but will also earn Boyle the highest debut ever for a female solo artist on the Billboard 200 in the SoundScan era. The previous record was held by Ashanti's self-titled 2002 debut, which sold 503,000 in its first week.
Since its release last week, Boyle's album has sold almost 3 million copies worldwide and hit the #1 spot in Australia, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand. By the time of its official release, it had also become the biggest pre-order in the history of the Amazon.com music store and, according to Columbia, broken pre-sales records on QVC and Barnes & Noble online.
Boyle's mentor and "Britain's Got Talent" judge Simon Cowell congratulated his charge on her global success in a statement. "I'm incredibly proud of Susan and delighted for her," he said. "This success couldn't have happened to a more deserving person. Susan Boyle quite simply has broken the rules. Her story is like a Hollywood movie, but this time it's real life and a really talented, nice lady who has won."
Dream features a mix of Boyle's signature covers of "I Dreamed a Dream" and "Cry Me a River," as well as versions of the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses," the Madonna tune "You'll See," the Monkees' "Daydream Believer," hymns "How Great Thou Art" and "Amazing Grace," the Christmas standard "Silent Night" and one original song written for Boyle, "Who I Was Born to Be."