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After all the high hopes and the big record deal, 'Escapology' scrapes in at 43...

ROBBIE WILLIAMS ‘ ‘ESCAPOLOGY’ has bombed in the US BILLBOARD album chart , just scraping into the mid-40s.

The album debuted at Number 43 this week after selling only 21,000 copies.

The news comes as a blow to EMI Records , who shelled out $80 million for the star last year, promising to make him a hit in the US.

Last month EMI boss David Munns said the company planned to ship four million copies of the album into US stores. Yet first-week sales suggest he is unlikely to come even close to this amount.

The record company was counting on the success of ‘Escapology’ to recoup losses made by Mariah Carey‘s ‘Glitter’ album last year and tumbling share prices.

‘Escapology’ shot to the Number One spot when it was released in the UK last November, and quickly became the fastest selling album of the year.

The US disappointment is still ‘Robbie‘s highest Billboard debut to date – 2000’s ‘Sing When You’re Winning’ only made it in at Number 110.