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'American Idol' on the Charts: From 'American Juniors' to Billboard's Hot 100, It's Lucy Hale

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.

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After American Juniors, Hale relocated to Los Angeles and was cast in an episode of the TV series Drake & Josh. She went on to do more television work, including guest roles in episodic series like The O.C., How I Met Your Mother and Wizards of Waverly Place. She then became a series regular on NBC’s short-lived reboot of The Bionic Woman.

Movie roles followed, starting with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Then she was cast as a regular in ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. Although all of her success came as an actor, Hale didn’t give up the idea of also being a recording star. In mid-2012 she signed with Hollywood Records. Her debut single, "You Sound Good to Me," was released last week.

Reaction from radio and consumers was immediate, with “Sound” garnering enough airplay and sales to debut on multiple Billboard charts this week. On the Hot 100, Hale has the highest new entry, as "Sound" blasts onto the chart at No. 88. The song also debuts at No. 21 on Hot Country Songs, No. 49 on Hot Digital Songs and No. 8 on Heatseekers Songs. Best of all, Hale’s single comes on strong at No. 4 on Country Digital Songs. North of the border, "Sound" is making noise on the Canadian Hot 100, where it bows at No. 57.

While this is the first time Hale has appeared on any Billboard singles or albums survey, she did garner some chart ink two months ago when she appeared at No. 24 on Billboard’s Uncharted chart, designed to highlight new and upcoming artists who haven’t yet charted.

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A WINTER TALE: Appearing on the Winter Jam 2014 tour with other Christian artists like the Newsboys and Plumb has boosted the chart fortunes of Colton Dixon. His album A Messenger is the beneficiary of venue sales, soaring 47-3 on Top Christian Albums. The set debuted on this chart at No. 1 the week of Feb. 16, 2013. In 12 months of charting, the album has only spent seven weeks in the top three. This is the first week A Messenger has achieved top three status since April 27, 2013. Thanks to the live tour, A Messenger returns to The Billboard 200 at No. 132.

Dixon also has a new song on the charts this week. "The Shape of Your Love," a bonus track on the Walmart exclusive edition of the album, debuts at No. 44 on Christian Songs.

More good news: Two Dixon songs re-enter Christian Digital Songs. "Never Gone" returns at No. 27 and "You Are" is back at No. 35.

BITS AND PIECES: Scotty McCreery’s album "See You Tonight" rebounds 95-85 on The Billboard 200…Phillip Phillips' "Gone, Gone, Gone" is still a top 10 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart, holding at No. 4…Daughtry's Baptized holds at No. 14 on Top Rock Albums, while the single "Waiting for Superman" advances 27-24 on Adult Contemporary and 13-12 on Adult Top 40…Carrie Underwood’s live recording of "How Great Thou Art" re-enters the Christian Digital Songs chart at No. 29…Mandisa's "Overcomer" just isn’t through with being No. 1. The track reclaims pole position on the Christian Adult Contemporary chart, moving back up from No. 2 for a 14th week on top.

Twitter: @fredbronson