Rhythm and blues sensation Ne-Yo grabbed the pole position on three main Billboard charts this week. The 23 year-old singer who has written songs for top acts including Mary J Blige, Chris Brown and Mario (he wrote Mario's number one hit Let Me Love You), has seen his debut single So Sick rise from number nine to number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
Ne-Yo's debut solo album In My Own Words sold over 301,000 copies in its first week of release to debut at number one on both the Billboard 200 and R&B Hip Hop album charts. a feat aided by digital sales of his hit So Sick, the No. 1 download with 120,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Jay-Z was a producer on the singer-songwriter's album, "In My Own Words," which sold 301,000 copies in its first week, and is pulling the strings behind the scenes on Ne-Yo's success. The single, "So Sick," a huge radio hit, was withheld from the digital market until the album hit stores, and the label invoked UMVD's rebate program for developing acts to bring the set's sale tag to as low as $7.98 at price-driven chains Target, Best Buy and Circuit City.
Still, despite the accolades, Ne-Yo still fell well short of 50 Cent's "The Massacre" bowed with 1.1 million, the only million-plus week by any album in 2005, which bowed in exactly one year ago this week.