'American Idol' on the Charts: Franchise Earns its 400th No. 1 with Mandisa's Latest
Also: season seven's Kristy Lee Cook and season five's Kellie Pickler return to the country surveys with their new singles.
BEST WEEK EVER: It’s not difficult to make the case that season five’s Mandisa, who made her first Billboard chart appearance in 2007, is having the best chart week of her career, some six years after her debut.
Here’s why: her new studio album, Overcomer, debuts at No. 1 on Top Christian Albums. It is her second release to top this chart and the first since True Beauty ruled for one week in August 2007. At the same time, Overcomer opens at No. 29 on The Billboard 200, where it instantly becomes Mandisa’s highest-charting album. That record had been held for six years by True Beauty, which peaked at No. 43 on this chart.
Overcomer also debuts in pole position on Top Christian & Gospel Albums, giving Mandisa her 18th and 19th Billboard No. 1s. That keeps her in fifth place among all Idols with the most chart-toppers. Mandisa’s pair of new No. 1s brings the total number of Idol chart-toppers to a whopping 400.
But wait, there’s more. The title track from Overcomer is No. 1 for the eighth week on both Christian Digital Songs and Christian/Gospel Digital Songs. And on the Bubbling Under the Hot 100 list, the single debuts at No. 24, an indication that this could be the song that brings Mandisa to the Hot 100 for the first time. Plus, Mandisa has two tracks in the top 10 of the Christian Digital Songs chart, as “Good Morning,” her collaboration with tobyMac, rebounds 14-9 in its 87th week on this list. Further down the chart, Mandisa’s “Stronger” re-enters at No. 46.
BACK-TO-BACK: Two familiar Idol names have new entries on the Country AirplayDetections chart, as their current singles debut right next to each other. Kristy Lee Cook’s duet with Randy Houser, “Wherever Love Goes,” bows at No. 59, while Kellie Pickler’s “Little Bit Gypsy” opens at No. 60.
Cook’s biggest hit single to date is “15 Minutes of Shame,” released in the summer of 2008 on the Arista label after her stint in the top 10 of season seven. Cook returned to the charts in late 2012 with “Airborne Ranger Infantry,” her first single on the Broken Bow imprint. Her duet with Houser is her first chart entry since “Airborne.”
Houser is one of country music’s newest male superstars, with two recent No. 1 hits under his belt. “How Country Feels” topped the Country Airplay chart for a week in February and “Runnin’ Outta Moonight” reigned for two weeks in August. The duet with Cook is his third chart single for this calendar year.
Pickler made her chart debut seven years ago this month with “Red High Heels,” which peaked at No. 15 in February 2007. Her highest-peaking single to date is “Best Days of Your Life,” which went to No. 9 in August 2009.
BITS AND PIECES: Phillip Phillips’s “Gone, Gone, Gone” is No. 1 for the second week on the Adult Contemporary chart. The parent album, The World from the Side of the Moon, moves back up the Top Rock Albums chart, from 16-15… Fantasia’s “Without Me,” which features Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott, rebounds 13-11 on R&B Songs. That’s close enough to the top 10 to suggest the song might return to elite status, as it previously peaked at No. 9. Fantasia’s album, Side Effects of You, re-surges 155-125 on The Billboard 200 and also moves back up on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (23-22) and Top R&B Albums (10-7)… Kelly Clarkson’s Greatest Hits: Chapter One is also enjoying a resurgence on The Billboard 200, where it rockets 113-75… Scotty McCreery’s latest single, “See You Tonight,” moves up on two Billboard charts. On Hot Country Songs it travels 49-45 and on Country Airplay it advances 38-37.