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One Direction makes Billboard history, holds off Aguilera, Del Rey

British/Irish boy band One Direction arrive at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, September 6, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
British/Irish boy band One Direction arrive at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, September 6, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British boyband One Direction made Billboard chart history on Wednesday after storming to the top of the 200 album chart with their second album "Take Me Home," holding off competition from Christina Aguilera, Soundgarden and Lana Del Rey.

"Take Me Home" notched the third-biggest opening week sales of the year with 540,000 units sold according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan, placing it behind only Mumford & Son's "Babel" and Taylor Swift's "Red," which had the year's biggest opening with 1.2 million copies sold.

This is also the first time a British band have seen their first two albums debut at the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Their first album "Up All Night" shot to the top of the chart with 176,000 copies in March this year.

The lead single from "Take Me Home," "Live While We're Young" also made Billboard chart history after selling 341,000 copies in its first week, becoming the biggest opening week single sales for a non-U.S. artist.

One Direction were able to trump a new release from pop star and "The Voice" judge Aguilera, who debuted at No. 7 with her fifth studio album "Lotus," selling 73,000 copies.

She was unable to replicate the success of fellow "Voice" judge Adam Levine, whose band Maroon 5 shot to No. 2 on the album chart in July with "Overexposed," selling 222,000 copies.

The members of the British-Irish quintet One Direction, aged between 18 and 20, are Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne. They have come a long way since forming on Britain's "The X Factor," coming in third place and going on to conquer the U.S. and build a devoted following of fans.

Their success has also piqued the curiosity of interviewer Barbara Walters, who will be speaking to the band for her annual "The 10 Most Fascinating People," airing on ABC on December 12.

The band will face stiff competition from R&B star Rihanna for the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart next week, as her new album "Unapologetic" is set for a big debut.

Elsewhere on the album chart, seven new debuts entered the top 10 this week.

Taylor Swift's "Red" was knocked down to No. 2 by One Direction's debut, while the soundtrack for the final "Twilight" film, "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," debuted at No. 3 with sales of 93,000 after the film hit theaters last week.

The soundtrack features lead single "The Forgotten" by Green Day and songs by Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding, Fiest and a duet between "Twilight" cast member Nikki Reed and husband Paul McDonald, a former "American Idol" finalist.

Canadian R&B star The Weeknd landed at No. 4 this week with his hotly anticipated debut, "Trilogy," while 1990s grunge rock band Soundgarden rounded out the top five with "King Animal," their first album in 16 years.

Green Day's "Dos!," the second installment of their trilogy of new albums this year, came in at No. 9 on the chart with 69,000 copies, a big drop from their first album "Uno!," which debuted at No. 2 in October with sales of 139,000 copies. The third installment, "Tre!," is due out on December 11.

Indie-pop songstress Del Rey rounded out the top ten with her latest studio set "Paradise," an eight-song record which was also offered as part of a deluxe edition of her debut album "Born To Die," which notched No. 2 on the chart in February.

(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; editing by Patricia Reaney and Marguerita Choy)

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