Sam Smith makes US chart history with debut album In the Lonely Hour

The album sold 166,000 in its first week of release in the US

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The Independent Culture

British singer-songwriter Sam Smith has made US chart history with his debut album In the Lonely Hour.

The offering, which includes hits “Money On My Mind” and “Stay With Me”, was released by Capitol and sold 166,000 copies in its first week of release in America – and more than one million worldwide.

And In the Lonely Hour arrived at number two in the Billboard 200, only losing out to Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence, which sold 182,000 copies in its first week.

Smith’s success marks the largest debut for a solo artist’s first album since November 2012, when Phillip Philips' The World From the Side of The Moon sold 169,000 copies and came in at number four. 

Last month, Smith revealed that his work was inspired by an unrequited love for another man.

In the Lonely Hour is about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn’t love me back. I think I’m over it now, but I was in a very dark place,” he said in an interview with Fader magazine.

Smith, who was crowned BBC Sound of 2014 winner, said he hoped his music will appeal to everyone “whether it's a guy, a female or a goat”, and has taken care to use pronouns that make his ex-love's gender ambiguous in its lyrics.

The interview marked the first time Smith has talked publicly about his sexuality, following speculation from fans and the media.

On Sunday, the 22-year-old will take to the stage at Glastonbury. This year's five-day festival will see Metallica, Kasabian and Arcade Fire headlining the world-famous musical extravaganza, with other major acts on the bill including the Black Keys, Massive Attack and Pixies.