How does that line in The Beatitudes go? "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth"? Whoever wrote that probably didn't have Susan Boyle in mind, but the British reality-TV star—she of the ballyhooed frumpiness and soaring voice—outsold every other album in 2009 with her debut, I Dreamed A Dream. It has sold a stunning 3.1 million copies to date, including another 136,000 last week to continue its six-week reign atop the Billboard charts.
Boyle made her debut last April on Britain's Got Talent, though she eventually came in second to a dance troupe and suffered a breakdown. If her comeback to vanquish every other album in 2009 seems tailor-made for some saccharine movie, there's one in the works.
Here are some more stats to fuel cynics' bafflement:
• I Dreamed A Dream is the biggest debut on the Billboard charts since it started using SoundScan (so basically the past 20 years).
• It was the largest CD pre-order in Amazon's history.
• It's the only 2009 release to hold No. 1 on Billboard charts for six weeks, and it's the only debut in the chart's 53-year history to spend that long in the No. 1 spot.
The frumpy have officially inherited the earth.