Robbie Williams quest to crack the American music market has hit a major snag - his album ESCAPOLOGY has bombed after selling only 21,000 copies.

Despite his record company, EMI, forking out $120 million (GBP80 million) for the star, his new release only scraped in at number 43 on America's Billboard chart.

EMI - whose share price has fallen by 10 per cent overnight (10-11APR03) - were looking to Robbie to save the company, after singer Mariah Carey was given a multi-million dollar pay off last year (02).

However, Escapology has fared better than its predecessor SING WHEN YOU'RE WINNING, which only made it to 110 in the chart.