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Damian Marley's Welcome To Jamrock Sets a Record on the Billboard 200

With over 86,000 copies sold in its first week of release, Damian Jr Gong Marley's new album Welcome to Jamrock broke all records for any reggae artiste, as it debuted at number seven on this week's Billboard 200 pop album chart. The young Marley's chart debut is without a doubt attributed to his current Billboard R&B Singles and Hot 100 hit single Welcome to Jamrock. That single was number 19 on the R&B singles chart and number 58 on the Hot 100 up to a week ago.

Commenting on his latest charge's chart success, Jerome Hamilton of Headline Entertainment, Marley's publicist, said the chart debut was expected based on the success of the single. ?t was expected and I am wonderfully impressed. It's going to be an outstanding album, and I hope it grows from strength to strength. There are a lot of good songs on the album," Hamilton said.

Welcome to Jamrock, which debuted at number 42 on the UK Album chart on the weekend, is Marley's third set. His previous album, the Grammy-winning Half Way Tree, sold over 2,000 copies in its first week of release four years ago. To date that set has sold over 91,000 copies.

With Damian's album debuting at number seven on the main album chart, it ranks him among an elite list of Jamaican reggae acts whose albums have debuted or peaked in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200. His father, the late reggae icon Bob Marley, peaked at number eight in 1976 with Rastaman Vibration. Shaggy's multi-platinum album Hot Shot spent four weeks at number one in 2001. Sean Paul's Dutty Rock peaked at number nine in 2003.

The 86,000 copies registered by Welcome to Jamrock is the biggest first week burst for any Jamaican reggae artiste.

Some notable first week debuts and major first week burst in sales over the years include: Lucky Day by Shaggy which sold over 70,000 copies and debuted at number 24 in its first week of release on the Billboard 200; Sean Paul's Dutty Rock, which debuted at number 26 with 62,000 copies in 2002 and went on to peak at number nine on the chart; Wayne Wonder's 2003 album No Holding Back debuted at number 29 with 40,000 copies sold in its first full week at retail.

Beenie Man's Back to Basics album, upon its release in 2004, sold more than 22,000 copies to debut at number 51.

Source: Kevin Jackson, Observer Writer

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