What started out as a music industry buzz that piqued interest and inspired discovery has now blossomed into the most extraordinary debut of the year.
This week R&B soul prodigy Alicia Keys debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Album Chart with her self-penned album Songs in A Minor, selling over 235,000 copies. It was released by J Records on June 26th, 2001.
The music world has literally opened their arms to this artist – radio stations are pounding her debut single “Fallin”‘ exploding the national audience to over 40 million in just five weeks, while MTV from the very first week of the video dubbed it “Buzzworthy” and both MTV2 and BET propelled the video to No. 1 on their channels. Alicia grabbed the media spotlight almost immediately as well, garnering rave reviews and stunning audiences with her beauty, her soulful songwriting and spine-tingling vocal power. Alicia’s electrifying performances on both the Oprah Winfrey show and the Tonight show caused retailers nationwide to first double and then triple their initial orders on the album and set the stage for this landmark milestone debut.
Since the label’s beginning a short 10 months ago, J Records has had three albums debut in the top five. The label’s first release, the debut from pop group O-Town came in at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart and to date has scanned a million units making it one of the best selling albums of the year. Upon the release of their first single “Liquid Dreams,” O-Town broke an all time record by having its single go straight to No. 1 on the sales chart – an historic first for a new artist.
Last week, Luther Vandross hit a career high when his new album landed at No. 6 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart and No. 2 on Billboard’s R&B Album Chart. In one week, the artist’s album Luther Vandross scanned over 135,000 copies, making it the biggest sales debut for Luther Vandross of his career. The album, his first for J Records, was released on June 19th and is already approaching platinum status.
J Records, a private joint venture between Clive Davis and BMG Entertainment, is the largest new label ever launched in music industry history. Clive Davis, Chairman and CEO of J Records is the legendary executive who founded Arista Records in 1975 and nurtured many of today’s top musical artists including Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Santana, Patti Smith, Sarah McLachlan and Dido as well as having partnered the birth of both LaFace Records and Bad Boy Records. The J Records roster includes Luther Vandross, Busta Rhymes, O-Town, Angie Stone, Deborah Cox, LFO, Next, Monica, Alicia Keys, Olivia and Jimmy Cozier. J Records also has a joint venture with Wyclef Jean’s brand new label, Clef Records on which the Product G&B will release a new album.