More on Rihanna's recovery can be found in the singles chart analysis elsewhere on musicweek.com.
Boyle's Someone To Watch Over Me earns the 50 year old Scot the distinction of becoming the first female solo artist to debut atop the album chart with her first three releases. Indeed, the only other female solo artist to reach number one at any stage with their first three albums is Canada's Avril Lavigne, whose introductory 2002 album Let Go debuted at number 50 and didn't hit the summit until 17 weeks later.
Lavigne's 2004 follow-up Under My Skin and third album, The Best Damn Thing (2007) were both instant number ones. Madonna (10), Barbra Streisand (six), Celine Dion and Kylie Minogue (five each) have all had more number one albums than Boyle but the only UK female solo artist to have three prior to her was Kate Bush - although Leona Lewis topped with two editions of debut album Spirit and returned to number one with Echo.
Although it completes a notable hat-trick for Boyle, first week sales of Someone To Watch Over Me - which includes unexpected covers of Tears For Fears' Mad World and Depeche Mode's Enjoy The Silence as well as George & Ira Gershwin's 85 year old title track - are way below Boyle's first two albums, at 72,745.
Her 2009 debut, I Dreamed A Dream, had first week sales of 411,820, and The Gift sold 102,993 copies when soaring to the summit last year. I Dreamed A Dream has thus far sold 1,882,892 copies, and The Gift 583,390 copies.
To reach number one, Boyle's latest had to overcome continuing strong sales of Florence + The Machine's Ceremonials, which dips 1-3 (58,278 sales), and Michael Buble's Christmas, which increased sales 71.50% week-on-week to climb 5-2 (61,535 sales).
18 year old singer/rapper Cher Lloyd, who finished fourth in The X Factor last year, topped the singles chart with Swagger Jagger three months ago, and reached number four with follow-up With Ur Love. Both singles are on Sticks + Stones, which debuts at number four (55,668 sales).
Lloyd is the third of last season's X Factor finalists to deliver an album: Fifth placed Mary Byrne's Mine & Yours opened at number six in March on sales of 33,986 and has since gone on to sell 56,817 copies. Winner Matt Cardle's Letters debuted at number two on sales of 70,896 last month, and slips 12-19 this week, with sales of 11,496 raising its four week tally to 125,512.
A year and two weeks after their self-titled debut album entered and peaked at number four, The Wanted's second album, Battleground, enters at number five. First week sales of the new album - at 47,530 - are 22.91% higher than the 38,670 copies than The Wanted sold on its introductory frame, when debuting at number four.
Dutch violinist Andre Rieu racks up his third Top 10 album in under two years, debuting at number seven (40,321 sales) with And The Waltz Goes On, which also features the Johan Strauss Orchestra. 62 year old Rieu reached number two with Forever Vienna, and number four with Moonlight Serenade.
15 year old Birdy - whose haunting version of Bon Iver's Skinny Love has never climbed higher than number 17 but has accumulated 23 weeks in the Top 75 singles list, selling 244,813 copies - enters at number 13 (18,069 sales), with her eponymous debut album, which also includes Shelter, which reached number 50, and a cover of Cherry Ghost's People Help The People, which moves 33-34 (8,583 sales) on its second chart appearance.
Birdy is one of the youngest artists ever to make the album chart - but the newly knighted Bruce Forsyth becomes the oldest artist to make their album chart debut, with his new album These Are My Favourites (number 58, 3,558 sales). Forsyth, who will be 84 in February, made his first album, Mister Entertainment, in 1960 but neither that nor any of the other many singles and albums he has released over the years has charted till now.
Although Forsyth has recorded for many labels, his new album is released on EMI, the parent company of Parlophone, on which his first was released. Forsyth is now the second oldest male solo artist to chart with an album of new material, trailing only Tony Bennett. 85 year old Bennett's Duets II set falls 28-31 (8,193 sales) on its eighth week in the chart.
The screening of the new Imagine documentary, Simon & Garfunkel: The Harmony Game on BBC1 last Tuesday (8th) had a galvanising effect on the album Bridge Over Troubled Water which is talked about extensively in the programme. Number one for 33 weeks in 1970/1971, Bridge sold 4,574 copies last week and re-enters the chart at number 47. More impressively, their 1972 compilation Greatest Hits enters the chart for the first time, at number 16 (12,550 sales). Bridge last charted in 1996.
The new Pink Floyd compilation, A Foot In The Door: The Best Of debuts at number 14 (16,832 sales), extending the band's album chart career to more than 44 years. Meanwhile, the release of the multi-disc Immersion version of their 1975 number one Wish You Were Here brings that album back onto the chart at number 38 (7,371 sales). It was also in the chart last month, reaching number 42 in the wake of the remastering of its regular edition.
Canada's B Squad - Bieber and Buble - experience somewhat differing fortunes with their new seasonal albums. While Buble's Christmas surges 5-2 (see above) on its third week in the Top 10, Bieber's Under The Mistletoe wilts 13-36 (7,656 sales) on its second week
Overall album sales are up 10.12% week-on-week at 2,214,652 - 4.78% below same week 2010 sales of 2,325,777.