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Monday, 26 March, 2001, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Hear'Say launch album chart attack
Popstars Hear'Say
Hear'Say: Looking after number one
Record shops are predicting that Hear'Say's debut LP will make a massive assault on the UK album charts.

The debut album - released on Monday - is entitled Popstars, after the title of the hit programme that brought the group together.

It is expected to sell about 300,000 copies in the first week.

It's incredible to think that Hear'Say could be outselling the Spice Girls at the height of Spicemania

Gennaro Castaldo, HMV
A number one album would add to the success of the act's first single, Pure and Simple, which became the fastest-selling debut ever, selling more than half a million copies.

It stayed at the top of the singles charts for a second consecutive week on Sunday.

Shaggy's It Wasn't Me climbed from third to second place and Irish boy band Westlife took the number three spot with their Comic Relief cover Uptown Girl.

Atomic Kitten stayed at number four with Whole Again, while Stereophonics were the highest new entry at number five with Mr Writer.

Double platinum

Hear'Say's record label Polydor is believed to have sent out about 600,000 copies of the album.

Popstars Hear'Say
The group has been mobbed at signings
A sell-out would make Popstars go double platinum.

In 1997, at the height of Oasis' success, the album Be Here Now sold 663,000 in one week. The Spice Girls sold 114,000 copies of their debut release Spice in November 1996.

The largest first week sales of recent months was The Beatles' 1, with 319,000 copies sold.

Hear'Say mania

Gennaro Castaldo of retailers HMV said: "It's incredible to think that Hear'Say could be outselling the Spice Girls at the height of Spicemania or that they might be selling nearly as many copies of Popstars as The Beatles' 1 sold in its first week."

He said most of the biggest selling albums tended to do well in the run-up to Christmas.

"For an album to potentially sell upwards of 200,000 at this time of year is phenomenal."

Mr Castaldo said that while some queues of Hear'Say fans had been reported at record stores around the country, he expected the number of sales to rise after school closing time.

The group - Myleene Klass, Danny Foster, Suzanne Shaw, Kym Marsh and Noel Sullivan - have been mobbed at recent promotional appearances.

Some 8,000 fans arrived at Woolworths in Milton Keynes for a signing session earlier this month. The store hired counsellors to calm fans who were overcome at meeting their idols.

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See also:

16 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Hysterical fans mob Hear'Say
13 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Hear'Say debut sells fast
12 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Popstars spark fan fever
12 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Thousands turn out for Hear'Say
24 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Popstars make their live debut
05 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Popstars face the music
05 Feb 01 | Entertainment
To Popstardom and beyond
26 Mar 01 | Showbiz
From wannabes to Popstars
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