'HOPE' IN FRONT: When Danny Gokey competed on American Idol, he was pulled aside by one of the season eight mentors, Randy Travis. Travis, a country superstar, made a strong suggestion that Gokey should consider a career in country music — that country was missing the soul in Gokey's voice. Shortly after the season finale, Gokey signed with Sony Music in Nashville. His debut release, My Best Days, peaked at No. 3 on Top Country Albums and No. 4 on the Billboard 200.
HERE COMES THE JUDGE: The new Jennifer Lopez album, A.K.A., impacts this week's charts in a big way, debuting on six different lists. On two of those charts, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top R&B Albums, A.K.A. bows at No. 1. On the former, this is Lopez' first chart-topping set in over 12 years, since J to the L-O! The Remixes spent one week in first place in February 2002. A.K.A. is the third Lopez album to top this chart — her other CD to achieve pole position was J.Lo in February 2001.
FIVE FOR FIGHTING: American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez is all over the Billboard charts, with five songs in various states of play. She joins Pitbull and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte on "We Are One (Ole Ola)," the official anthem of the 2014 World Cup, which re-enters The Billboard Hot 100 at No. 59, as World Cup fever rises to a new pitch. The single also returns to Pop Digital Songs at No. 28 and climbs 40 to 31 on Latin Pop Airplay.
'BAD' NEWS: This is a really great week for "Somethin' Bad," the duet by Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. The two leading ladies of country music find their single making some major moves on four Billboard song charts. Also, their collaboration appears on Lambert's album Platinum, which debuts at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums.
FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT: A collection of greatest hits, including the singles "Whataya Want from Me" and "If I Had You," sends Adam Lambert back to the Billboard charts. Playlist enters the Top Internet Albums chart at No. 14 and Top Current Albums at No. 187.
A 'BAD' DEBUT: In a very newsy chart week for American Idols, Carrie Underwood makes headlines with twin debuts, including a new entry in pole position. After premiering their first-ever collaboration on the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, the season four Idol winner and Miranda Lambert see their duet, “Somethin’ Bad,” open at No. 1 on Country Digital Songs. This gives Underwood her 70th Billboard chart-topper.
'FEELIN'' ALRIGHT: Last week, season 10 champion Scotty McCreery performed his latest single, "Feelin’ It," on the one-hour results show of American Idol. This week, the track with a summery vibe debuts on Hot Country Songs at No. 40.
AND SHE’S NOT GOING: Season three alum Jennifer Hudson didn't register on the Billboard charts immediately after her year on American Idol. It took an Academy Award to push her first single to appear on the Adult R&B chart into the top three -- that was "And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going" from the soundtrack to Dreamgirls, the film that propelled her to a Oscar victory. Hudson has been unstoppable ever since. Her latest singe, "Walk It Out," is a new entry this week at No. 29.
HOT STUFF: After top 10 runs on multiple Billboard charts with "Home" and "Gone, Gone, Gone," Phillip Phillips is back in the top 10 with "Raging Fire," the first single from his sophomore album, Behind the Light, set for release on May 19.
'FEELIN'' GOOD: "See You Tonight," the first single from Scotty McCreery’s sophomore album of the same name, has had such a long run on the Billboard country charts that the season 10 champ’s label has understandingly been reluctant to release a follow-up. Now, after 32 weeks on the charts, there is finally a new single from the 20-year-old North Carolinian. “Feelin’ It,” which has been described as a “summertime romp,” is a new entry on the Country Airplay chart at No. 54.
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.