In her first U.S. performance, Susan Boyle sings "Wild Horses" on "America's Got Talent"

Sony Records had second thoughts about Susan Boyle after her defeat in the final of  'Britain's Got Talent' and her subsequent stay in rehab, but they decided to stick with her - a gamble that has clearly paid off - according to The Wall Street Journal. 

Now Susan Boyle will sell over 650,000 of her debut album in the United States, according to the newspaper quoting industry sources. It means she has the greatest debut album on record this year in both America and Britain. By contrast, Kris Allen, the winner of the most recent 'American Idol,' sold only 80,000 of his new release.

'I Dreamed A dream' has surpassed Eminem's total of 605,000 for his album earlier this year. The actual final tally will be released by Nielsen Sound Scan on Wednesday.

Sony's Columbia records took a chance on Boyle, even after she had lost the final of 'Britain's Got Talent' to a dance group. 

Steve Barnett, chairman of Sony's Columbia Records, saw her appeal clearly. "She was the underdog and people could relate to her," he told the newspaper.

However, they had some second thoughts. The Wall Street Journal stated that "Her surprise loss in an audience vote during the show's finale in May caused Sony to rethink some of the plans it had laid. And Ms. Boyle spent five days in a psychiatric hospital, treated for exhaustion."

But the company decided to stick with her. They relied on an unconventional approach,using unusual outlets such as CVS pharmacy, believing that her buyers did not match the usual profile of CD purchasers.

"The sense that we would market it like a traditional record went out the window weeks ago,"  Barnett told The Wall Street Journal in an interview on Monday. It is clearly a gamble that paid off big.