'American Idol' on the Charts: 11 Winners, 230 Number Ones, 836 Weeks On Top
From Kelly Clarkson to Phillip Phillips, an accounting of the show's chart champs. Plus: Scotty McCreery, Jordin Sparks, Jason Castro and Mandisa spread holiday cheer.
THE WINNERS TAKE IT ALL: Philip Phillips is the only American Idol sitting at No. 1 on the Billboard charts this week, as his album The World from the Side of the Moon spends a second week in pole position on the Top Rock Albums chart, while his single “Home” is No. 1 for the fifth week on Triple A Audience and for the fourth week on Triple A. All 11 of the Fox-TV’s series winners have collected No. 1s on the Billboard charts, but who has had the most chart-toppers, and who has spent the most weeks in first place?
Here’s an accounting of how many No. 1s each Idol winner has earned, counting all national, domestic charts compiled by Billboard:
Kelly Clarkson 79
Carrie Underwood 65
Ruben Studdard 16
Scotty McCreery 10
David Cook 8
Jordin Sparks 7
Phillip Phillips 6
Kris Allen 4
Taylor Hicks 3
Lee DeWyze 1
That’s a total of 230 No. 1s, out of the 370 chart-toppers scored by all Idol contestants.
The order of Idols is slightly different when you count up the total number of weeks each of these 11 winners have spent leading the various Billboard charts:
Kelly Clarkson 289
Carrie Underwood 246
Kris Allen 52
Ruben Studdard 49
David Cook 34
Phillip Phillips 17
Scotty McCreery 15
Taylor Hicks 11
Jordin Sparks 8
Lee DeWyze 1
That represents 836 weeks spent on top of the Billboard charts.
The biggest difference between the two lists is the rise of Kris Allen from ninth place among Idols with the most No. 1s to fourth place among Idols with the most weeks on top. His four No. 1s spent a total of 52 weeks in first place, mainly thanks to the 24-week reigns of “Live Like We’re Dying” on both the Christian Digital Songs and Christian/Gospel Digital Songs charts.
Kelly Clarkson is ahead of Carrie Underwood on both lists but Underwood has the longest-running No. 1 of any Idol. Clarkson’s chart-topper with the lengthiest rule is “Breakaway,” her song from The Princess Diaries 2 that held sway over the Adult Contemporary Audience chart for 28 weeks. Underwood’s first album, Some Hearts, was No. 1 on Top Country Albums for 27 weeks and then set the all-time record by leading the Top Country Catalog Albums chart for 41 weeks.
THE XMAS FACTOR: Every week that takes us closer to Christmas brings more holiday songs to the Billboard charts, and the Idols continue to occupy a great number of slots on the various tallies. Scotty McCreery’s Christmas With Scotty McCreery rebounds 21-12 with a bullet on The Billboard 200, is up 6-4 on Top Country Albums, holds at No. 5 on Top Holiday Albums and re-enters Top Internet Albums at No. 20. Jordin Sparks’ single “Do You Hear What I Hear” blasts into the top 10 of the Adult Contemporary chart with a 15-8 leap and is up 4-3 on the Adult Contemporary Audience list. Jason Castro’s "Gloria (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/Angels We Have Heard On High)" debuts at No. 35 on the Christian Songs chart, where Mandisa’s “It’s Christmas” rockets 42-23 with a bullet.
BITS AND PIECES: Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillacs” hasn’t debuted on The Billboard Hot 100 yet, but it’s driving in the right direction, entering the Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart at No. 19… Frenchie Davis’ “Love’s Got a Hold on Me” breaks into the top 20 of the Hot Dance Club Play chart with a hike of 24-19 (with a bullet)… Australian Idol Guy Sebastian holds at No. 5 on the singles chart from down under with his new release, “Get Along.” It’s the follow-up to his collaboration with Lupe Fiasco on “Battle Scars,” which is down 17-23 in its 16th week on the chart. The new single helps lift the parent album, Armageddon, 4-1 in its seventh week on the Australian album chart. There’s also an American Idol on the Australian album chart, as Kelly Clarkson’s Greatest Hits – Chapter One debuts at No. 20.