Friday's "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" telethon has already broken fundraising records by gathering more than $61 million in public donations to aid the people of the devastated Caribbean nation. But on Wednesday, the accompanying soundtrack to the all-star event, Hope for Haiti Now, made some history of its own by becoming the first-ever all-digital album in the 54-year history of the Billboard 200 to debut at #1 on the albums chart.
With less than a week of sales — pre-sales began on Thursday — the album still managed to grab the top spot by moving 171,000 units, easily besting the #2 album, Susan Boyle's, I Dreamed a Dream, which sold another 86,000 copies for a distant second-place finish.
Hope For Haiti Now features all of the songs from the telethon, which included one-of-a-kind performances from Wyclef Jean, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira and Sting in New York; Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Emeline Michel and a group performance by Keith Urban, Kid Rock, and Sheryl Crow in Los Angeles; and Beyoncé, Coldplay and a group performance by Bono, The Edge, Jay-Z and Rihanna in London.
The Hope for Haiti Now album was the biggest one-day album pre-order in iTunes history.
The "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" telethon drew a cumulative audience of more than 83 million viewers and a gross average audience of more than 24 million viewers in the United States, according to Nielsen Media Research. Across the Web and mobile, "Hope for Haiti Now" attracted 1.9 million video streams during the live broadcast. Between the live broadcast and replays of the performances available on MTV.com and other sites, "Hope for Haiti Now" attracted 5.8 million total streams throughout the weekend, including more than 150,000 mobile streams.
"Hope for Haiti Now" will continue accepting donations for six months via the following methods:
» Online: HopeForHaitiNow.org
» Phone: 877-99-HAITI
» Text: Text "GIVE" to 50555
» Mail: Hope For Haiti Now Fund, Entertainment Industry
Foundation, 1201 West 5th Street, Suite T-700, Los Angeles, CA 90017
"Hope for Haiti Now" benefits Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Programme, Yele Haiti Foundation, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation. Proceeds from "Hope for Haiti Now" will be split among each organization's individual funds for Haiti earthquake relief. With the exception of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, each partner organization was selected for its history of operation and collaboration within the nongovernmental organization (NGO) community in Haiti.