Usher's Album Leads the Way

03/31/2004 AT 05:29 PM EST

"Confessions" reveals just how crazy fans are about R&B superstar Usher.

Music fans snapped up more than a million copies of the latest album by the Atlanta native. The disc topped sales of Norah Jones's recent release, which broke a long dry spell and had the best-selling debut week for an album since 'N Sync's "Celebrity" in 2001, the Associated Press reports.

Led by the popularity of the hit single "Yeah!," the album, which was released March 23 on Arista Records, faced an uphill battle as the label was collapsed and made part of the RCA record label. Many of Arista's staff members lost their jobs, and projects released under such corporate reshuffling frequently have a way of falling between the cracks.

"The staff overcame every obstacle to give my record the reception I feel it deserved," Usher said in a statement praising the label.

"Confessions" marks more good news for the beleaguered recording industry, which has seen record sales drop in recent years. In February, Norah Jones's sophomore album, "Feels Like Home," surpassed a million sales in its first week on the shelves, becoming the first artist since 'N Sync to move more than a million albums.

Usher, 25, topped Jones's sales by a bit, demonstrating that his morph from teen pop star to hunky R&B crooner on his last album, "8701," was no fluke. That album sold more than 3 million copies, and his latest effort stands to do much better.

"My feeling has always been that 'Confessions' would be a landmark album for me," Usher said.

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