Sam Smith Makes History: Highest First Week Album Sales By UK Male Artist

British soul singer and songwriter Sam Smith made U.S. pop music history this week selling his debut album, In The Lonely Hour, more copies in its first week of release–166,000–than any other debut album by a UK male artist in the 23-year history of Soundscan. The Capitol Records album will enter the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart next week at #2, propelled by Smith’s Top-Ten hit single, “Stay With Me,” which surpassed one million sales this week.

Smith’s record-setting U.S. debut reflects his burgeoning popularity on this side of the Atlantic. A forthcoming North American tour in September has completely sold out (a few tickets remain in Portland, OR), including The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York and the Riviera Theater in Chicago.

Critics have lauded Smith and his music with TIME Magazine proclaiming, “In The Lonely Hour finds Smith changing course and doubling back to recognizably classic sounds: warm, simple melodies with structures and tones cribbed from gospel music, plus luxurious strings and guitar lines that complement his fluttering vocal turns…Smith understands that his voice is the key to unlocking these songs, and when it’s made the focal point he shines…Smith’s pain leaps from the speakers, familiar and undeniable.”

Smith’s North American concert tour begins September 15 in Boston. The complete schedule is as follows:

September 15              Boston, MA (House of Blues)
September 16              Washington, DC (Echostage)
September 19              New York, NY (Hammerstein Ballroom)
September 21              Toronto, ONT (Kool Haus)
September 22              Chicago, IL (Riviera Theater)
September 24              Vancouver, BC (Orpheum Theatre)
September 25              Seattle, WA (Paramount Theater)
September 26              Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom)
September 29              Los Angeles, CA (The Greek Theatre)
September 30              Los Angeles, CA (The Greek Theatre)
October 4                    Houston, TX (House of Blues)
October 6                    Atlanta, GA (Tabernacle)
October 7                    Nashville, TN (Ryman Auditorium)
October 9                    Dallas, TX (House of Blues)

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