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Album sales: One Direction makes history with No. 1 debut of 'Up All Night'

A few months ago, we asked you, “Are boy bands officially back?” According to this week’s Billboard 200, the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

British boy band One Direction debuted atop the chart with their first album, Up All Night, which sold an impressive 176,000 copies in its first week. In doing so, Simon Cowell’s fivesome, who are signed to SYCO/Columbia, became the first-ever British act to debut atop the Billboard 200 with its debut disc. The former highest Brit debut was the Spice Girls’ Spice, which started at No. 6 in 1997, although it did climb to No. 1 three months later.

One Direction turned industry heads a few weeks ago when their American television debut on The Today Show drew over 10,000 screaming fans into Rockefeller Center, but before this week, the group hadn’t demonstrated much sales power Stateside.

Remarkably, their debut single “What Makes You Beautiful,” which currently sits at No. 33 on the Hot 100 (and was predicted as the spring’s biggest song by EW readers), has only been available in America for five weeks. But in a YouTube-driven industry, international artists are available to fans at the click of a mouse (the music video has garnered over 75 million views since its debut in August) — tweens had more than enough time to fall for their new obsession via the Internet. READ FULL STORY

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