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iTunes sales drive $3 million to Haiti relief

Worldwide iTunes sales of the Hope for Haiti Now album, video,and individual performances have raised more than $3 million for the relief efforts, accounting for nearly all digital sales for the project, Apple Inc. confirmed today.

The Hope for Haiti Now charity album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with 171,000 sold according to Nielsen SoundScan, becoming the first digital-exclusive set to top the tally in its nearly 54-year history. That album, featuring performances culled from last Friday’s massive “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon, only reached digital distributors over the weekend, making its sales number all the more impressive. SoundScan’s sales tracking week ends at the close of business each Sunday, so Hope for Haiti‘s brisk sales came from no more than two full days.

Hope for Haiti Now is setting iTunes chart records too: it’s the first project to simultaneously occupy the No. 1 spot on iTunes’ U.S. album, song and TV charts.

On the Billboard songs charts, tracks from the superstar “Hope for Haiti Now” broadcast sell a cumulative 334,000 in less than two days of availability, according to Nielsen SoundScan, a sum likely to increase next week after a full seven days of sales.

Of the 19 available songs, “Stranded” by Jay-Z, Bono, The Edge and Rihanna (131,000) moves the most downloads, good enough for a No. 8 debut on Digital Songs and a No. 16 start on the Hot 100.

The only other track from the Haiti benefit to debut on the charts is “Hallelujah” by Justin Timberlake & Matt Morris featuring Charlie Sexton which sold 64,000 downloads and entered Hot Digital Songs at No. 24 and the Hot 100 at No. 48.

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