Joss Stone launches British invasion of America
Mar 30,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

Introducing Joss Stone Debuts at Number 2 on Billboard Album Chart and Goes Top 10 in More Than 15 Countries

With her album's Number 2 debut on Billboard's Top 200 Album chart this week, soul singer and songwriter Joss Stone leads a bona fide British chart invasion by female artists that includes KT Tunstall, Corinne Bailey Rae, Lily Allen, and Amy Winehouse. Introducing Joss Stone, the Grammy-winning star's third album, sold 118,000 copies in its first week, and is not only a personal best for Stone, but the highest-ever chart debut by a female artist from the U.K. since Billboard began deriving chart information from Nielsen SoundScan data in 1992. Worldwide, the album is an instant smash having gone Top 10 in more than 15 countries.

Introducing Joss Stone, which features special guests Common and Lauryn Hill, has received glowing reviews since its release by Virgin Records on March 20th, including four stars from People Magazine. "Stone employs her remarkable instrument with focus and nuance, and the result is an album full of solid pop-wise R&B," says Rolling Stone, while other critics have praised it as "quite sexy and incredibly retro-cool," "raucous and adventurous" and "proof that Stone is the true heiress to Aretha Franklin as this generation's queen of soul."

Introducing Joss Stone was produced largely by Stone's main musical collaborator, Raphael Saadiq (The Roots, Macy Gray) and features lyrics written or co-written by Stone herself. "It's the first album that is truly me," the 19-year-old Devon, England, native says. "These are my words, and this is who I am as an artist."

Undoubtedly, the first-week success of the album was aided by several national television appearances that represent the range of Stone's diverse audience, massive multi-format video play of the clip for the album's first single "Tell Me 'Bout It", and a creative and far-reaching new media campaign. Within hours of her performing "Tell Me 'Bout It" on NBC's The Today Show, Introducing jumped from Number 4 to the Number 1 spot on online retailer Amazon.com's sales chart. Stone also appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, CBS' The Early Show's Second Cup Cafe, MTV's TRL, PBS' Tavis Smiley and was the lead guest and musical performer on The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson. Upcoming TV appearances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on April 23rd and a special two-song performance on the ABC ratings juggernaut, Dancing With the Stars on April 24th.

In addition, Stone has enjoyed unprecedented support from such video outlets as VH1 (Gung Ho rotation), VH1 Soul, MTV (Big 10 rotation), mtvU, MTV Hits, The IMF, The N, and Music Choice. To top it off, Stone is the first artist to be featured on VH1's new series VH1 Album Autopsy, which will give viewers an in-depth look at the making and launch of Introducing Joss Stone.

On the Internet, Stone made a huge splash on AOL's Sessions, WalMart's highly popular Soundcheck series, which ran both online and in all the Number 1 U.S. retailer's stores, and Yahoo! Live Sets. The latter attracted so many viewers that she received more than two million clicks of her featured photo gallery. Upcoming live online appearances are also scheduled to air on iTunes Sessions, VH1.com, and MTV.com.

On April 27th, Stone will launch her first proper North American tour in nearly three years, which continues into June, making special stops at the Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans and the annual Summerstage concert series in New York City's Central Park. On July 1st in London, Stone will appear alongside Elton John, Bryan Ferry, and Duran Duran at the "Concert For Diana" -- a charity event organized by Princes William and Harry to celebrate the life of the late Princess.