HEROIC MOVES: For three weeks in a row, new artists saw their live results show performances reap rewards on the Billboard charts. Jake Bugg, Kodaline and Mali Music all surged on the surveys after finding a nationwide audience on American Idol. This week, a veteran band’s latest single and album regain ground thanks to an invite to perform on the newly formatted half-hour results show.
GAINING NEW GROUND: Released in advance of his sophomore album, Phillip Phillips' single "Raging Fire" continues to heat up, with improved rankings on three Billboard charts and one international survey.
"Raging Fire" ranks highest on Adult Top 40, where the single advances from No. 17 to No. 14 and earns Billboard's "Greatest Gainer" designation. That means "Raging Fire" makes the biggest gain in airplay of any song on the chart.
It's a good week for American Idol on the charts, with Phillip Phillips leaping up 10 points on an airplay chart and Ruben Studdard enjoying the greatest sales gain of any album on an R&B chart. But it's not just winners of the long-running Fox series that are excelling this week -- all three judges have albums or singles enjoying upward movement, making this the first judging panel in Idol history to all be experiencing Billboard chart success at the same time.
HOT STUFF: There’s nothing like a live performance on American Idol to lift a song or an album up the charts, whether you’re a veteran of the series or a new act. Phillip Phillips and Kodaline, fresh from appearances on last week’s results show, both benefit from being seen by millions of viewers across the nation.
UNGRACIOUS: You don’t have to dig very deep to find the irony when it comes to Jake Bugg’s guest appearance on last week’s American Idol results show. Largely unknown in the United States, Bugg was asked to be the first new artist featured on the Fox series this season. Born in Clifton, Nottingham, England, it’s unlikely Bugg would be unaware of the format of Idol and shows like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.
‘MUSIC’ SPEAKS LOUDLY: Her debut album may have been delayed, but that didn’t hinder the debut of Candice Glover’s Music Speaks on the Billboard charts. The album is a new entry on six different surveys and blasts straight into the top 10 on two of those charts.
Glover’s first release bows at No. 3 on To R&B Albums and No. 4 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. On the former, she is in excellent company, joining a top three that includes Beyoncè and Toni Braxton.
HERE COMES THE BRIDAL HIT: Carrie Underwood’s 2009 album Play On was full of big hit singles, including “Cowboy Casanova,” “Undo It,” “Mama’s Song” and “Temporary Home.” Track number 10, “Look at Me,” wasn’t released as a single but it is having a delayed impact on the Billboard charts, thanks to Arianna Pflederer.
MAKE ‘ROOM’ FOR ANDREW: Every week, there is some predictable American Idol chart news -- like this week’s debut of the new album by Ruben Studdard (see below). Then there are the surprises that come from out of nowhere -- like this week’s first appearance on the Billboard charts by season nine’s Andrew Garcia.
NEVER ENDING STORY:Scotty McCreery’s album See You Tonight is in its fourth month on the charts and you might think there would be a second single by now. But there hasn’t been the need for a follow-up to the initial release, as the title track, released long before the album hit the streets, is still moving up the Billboard charts.
ROAD TRIP: Colton Dixon is traveling around the U.S. as one of the artists on the Winter Jam 214 tour, along with fellow Christian artists the Newsboys, Plumb and Lecrae. The tour started in Raleigh, N.C. on Jan. 3 and has date scheduled through March 30 with a date in Omaha, Neb. This week, as the tour comes to Atlanta and Birmingham, Dixon’s debut album, on sale in the arenas where the live show plays, enjoys another rebound on the Billboard charts.
THE 'FIGHT' GAME:Lee DeWyze's second post-Idol album, Frames, was released in August 2013. Before the month was over, Frames debuted on three Billboard charts: Billboard 200, Top Current Albums and Top Rock Albums. This week, the second single from the album, "Fight," makes its bow on the Adult Top 40 tally, coming in at No. 40.
HALE MAKES HEARTY DEBUT: Ten and a half years after its debut on Fox, the American Juniors spin-off series finds one of its contestants on the Billboard charts. Unlike its parent show, the one season of Juniors did not produce a superstar – or anyone who had a hit record. Until now.
Is it too late to give American Juniors any credit? Perhaps not, since Lucy Hale first came to national attention on the show when she was 14 and was one of five winning finalists who were assembled into a recording group.
'CRIED' OUT: It’s been eight months since Candice Glover was crowned the winner of season 12 of American Idol. The 24-year-old singer from Beaufort, S.C. made her Billboard chart debut just a few days after the finale with her coronation song, “I Am Beautiful.” That tune appeared on eight different charts, with peak positions that ranged from No. 93 on the Hot 100 to No. 6 on Heatseekers Songs. This week, Glover returns to the pages of Billboard with her latest single, “Cried.” The track debuts at No.
THE 'BELLS' ARE RINGING: Over the last 12 years, American Idol alumnae of all genres have come together on the holiday charts. This year, the original Idol, Kelly Clarkson, has dominated the Christmas lists with her album Wrapped in Red. While that set spends a third week at No. 1 on Top Holiday Albums and the track "Underneath the Tree" leads the Adult Contemporary tally for a third week, another Idol makes a first appearance on a seasonal chart. Season 11's Colton Dixon debuts at No.