Brightman starred as Christine Daaé in Lloyd Webber's adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera. The role of Christine was written specifically for her. Lloyd Webber refused to open The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway unless Brightman played Christine. Initially, the American Actors' Equity Association balked, because of their policy that any non-American performer must be an international star. Lloyd Webber had to cast an American in a leading role in his next West End musical before Equity would allow Brightman to appear (a promise he kept in casting Aspects of Love). In the end, it was a compromise that was successful. Phantom received $17 million in advance sales prior to opening night on 26 January 1988. The original cast album was the first in British musical history to enter the music charts at number one. Album sales now exceed forty million worldwide—the biggest selling cast album of all time—and has gone six times platinum in the United States, twice platinum in the UK, nine times platinum in Germany, four times platinum in the Netherlands, 11 times platinum in Korea and 31 times platinum in Taiwan. Despite the success both in London and on Broadway, Brightman received mostly negative reception from critics for her performance and was not nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Musical at the Tony Awards. While some reviewers praised Brightman for her singing, her acting was widely criticized.