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Third time’s a charm for Jones

'Not Too Late' sells 405,000 copies

Norah Jones’ third album has become her third No. 1 as “Not Too Late” (Blue Note) sold 405,000 copies in its first week of release.

Jones disc charted at No. 1 in 15 countries, including the U.K., Brazil, Canada, France and Germany as well as Japan’s international chart. Amazon.com reported earlier that the disc was the most pre-ordered title in its history; the site was selling the disc for $9.99.

Sales tally is the highest for a solo female artist since Beyonce’s “B’Day” sold 541,000 in early September.

Jones will appear tonight on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and Sunday in a “60 Minutes” feature. She will also perform on “The Late Show With David Letterman” on Valentine’s Day.

Three years ago, Jones’ second album, “Feels Like Home,” sold 1.022 million copies. Released just prior to Valentine’s Day, it was part of the biggest non-holiday sales week in SoundScan history.

Her 2002 debut, “Come Away With Me,” developed more slowly, selling 2.9 million copies before it hit No. 1 — 11 months after its release.

The second place finisher from last season’s “American Idol,” Katharine McPhee, saw her self-titled RCA debut sell 116,000 copies in the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Among the five “Idol” second-place finishers, McPhee is squarely in the middle of first week sales: Clay Aiken’s “Measure of a Man” (613,000 sold)  and Bo Bice’s “The Real Thing” (227,000) have opened ahead of her; Justin Guarini’s self-titled album (57,000) and Diana DeGarmo’s “Blue Skies” (47,000) sold fewer copies.

Celtic Woman’s “A New Journey” (Manhattan/EMI) debuted at No. 4, selling 71,000. The Irish vocal group has significantly built its audience via two PBS specials that have each aired multiple times on more than 90% of the pubcaster’s stations in the U.S.

Harry Connick Jr.’s collection of songs celebrating his hometown of New Orleans, “Oh, My Nola” (Columbia), docked at No. 11, selling 44,000. Selling about 100 fewer copies was Jill Scott’s fourth album, “Collaborations” (Hidden Beach), at No. 12.

Among other debuts, Madonna’s live CD/DVD “The Confessions Tour” (Warner Bros.) sold 40,000 (No. 15); BMG Marketing’s “Totally Country Vol. 6” compilation did 37,000 (No. 18); Capitol’s heavily promoted Lily Allen sold 34,000 copies of “Alright, Still” (No. 20); the “WOW Gospel 2007” compilation (Verity) sold a similar number to open at No. 21; and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s “Some Loud Thunder” sold 19,000 (No. 58).

Last week’s No. 1, Pretty Ricky’s “Late Night Special” (Atlantic), slid to No. 5 on sales of 62,000.

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