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Whitney Houston Gets A Boost From Bodyguard hide

LOS ANGELES - Christmas still isn't over for pop singer Whitney Houston as millions flock to buy her latest album and single, and then go to see her in the surprise hit film The Bodyguard opposite Kevin Costner.

The film's soundtrack album, on which Houston sings six of the 12 songs, has sold more than 5.5-million copies and topped the pop charts for six of its seven weeks of release, her record company Arista said on Wednesday.

This is the highest-selling album since collation methods were upgraded last year to reflect sales from a wide range of stores only, instead of a more easily manipulated method that relied more on radio station plays. Last week alone, the album sold 1-million copies. This beats the record of 830,000 - set by Houston a week earlier. Before that the title was held by Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusion II from the summer of 1991.

Houston's first single I Will Always Love You, which has sold 3.6- million copies, is at the top of three charts - pop, rhythm and blues and adult contemporary. Its sales last week of 632,000 copies shattered Houston's week-old record of 577,000 copies.

Other singers on the album include Joe Cocker, who duets with Sass Jordan, and Lisa Stansfield. Arista said it expected to release up to five Houston singles, meaning that the album should remain a hot seller through much of 1993.

The success of the album and single have helped fill seats at the movie houses. Despite an almost universal lambasting from film critics, The Bodyguard is well on its way to blockbuster status.

The romantic thriller has grossed more than $70-million (U.S.) since its release at Thanksgiving. The Warner Bros. film cost $30-million to make, and film industry analysts expect it will easily pass the key $100- million mark.

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