LONDON Susan Boyle, who shot to fame when her performance on a British TV show last year became an Internet sensation, topped the U.S. album chart this week with her second record "The Gift."
Billboard said that that Boyle, 49, sold 318,000 copies in the United States in the first week of release, ahead of country singer Taylor Swift who was previously number one with "Speak Now."
Boyle's "The Gift" made the top of the UK album charts last weekend.
According to Boyle's record label Sony, she becomes the first female artist to hold the number one album spot in the British and U.S. charts simultaneously twice in less than 12 months, a feat last achieved by the Beatles in 1969.
Her first album "I Dreamed a Dream" was the world's top seller in 2009, shifting more than 10 million copies.
Expectations for "The Gift" were more modest, but an executive at her label forecast a strong performance nevertheless of up to five million sales. "The Gift" is released by Sony in partnership with music impresario Simon Cowell's Syco Music.
"I'm thrilled for Susan, she has once again defied the odds. She is my superwoman," Cowell said in a statement.
Boyle's reign at the top of the British charts is likely to be shortlived, however, with "The Gift" dropping out of the top five albums by the middle of the week.
Take That are currently top, having sold more than 300,000 copies of "Progress" in Britain so far this week.
They could challenge Coldplay's first-week sales of 465,000 copies for "X&Y," which is the biggest tally so far this decade, according to the Official Charts Company.
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White)