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'American Idol' on the Charts: Colton Dixon Delivers His Message With a Pair of No. 1s

Season 11 finalists shine with 17 chart-toppers in eight months. Plus: life begins at 40 (weeks) for Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away."

Colton Dixon PR piano square P

ROOT THE ‘MESSENGER’: Colton Dixon scored two No. 1 singles last year and he’s starting off 2013 as the leader of the pack again, as his first album, A Messenger, begins its chart life by entering two surveys in pole position. A Messenger is No. 1 on Top Christian Albums as well as Top Christian and Gospel Albums.

Dixon first topped a Billboard chart in October 2012 when “Never Gone” ruled Christian Digital Songs and Christian/Gospel Digital Songs the same week. Just one month later, Dixon’s next single, “You Are,” repeated that feat. So when A Messenger was released the last week of January, it already contained two No. 1 hits, which helped the album sell enough copies to move right into the penthouse. Dixon is only the third Idol to lead the Top Christian Albums chart. The first was Clay Aiken, whose Merry Christmas with Love began a six-week reign in December 2004. Second was Mandisa, whose True Beauty had a single week in first place in August 2007.

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Add Dixon’s six No. 1s to the 10 already earned by Phillip Phillips and the one by Jessica Sanchez, and season 11 finalists have racked up 17 No. 1s in just eight months.

A Messenger gives American Idol its 377th and 378th No. 1 and makes a grand entrance on three other charts, debuting at No. 9 on Top Digital Albums, No. 15 on The Billboard 200 and No. 19 on Top Internet Albums.

The release of the album has propelled the track “You Are” back up the Christian Digital Songs chart, with a leap of 21-3. On that same survey, another track from Dixon’s album debuts: “Love Has Come for Me” is a new entry at No. 48.

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AND ‘AWAY’ WE GO: This was a very good week for an album that has been on the charts for 40 weeks. Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away found new life and made the greatest sales gain of any album on both The Billboard 200 (where it is up 37-34) and Top Country Albums (where it rises 9-5). It doesn’t hurt that Blown Away now contains three hit singles: “Good Girl,” the title track and “Two Black Cadillacs,” which moves 10-8 this week on Hot Country Songs and 7-6 on Country Digital Songs. The song is also doing well on the Country Airplay chart, where it holds at No. 10 with a bullet. On the Hot 100, “Cadillacs” motors into the top half of the chart, with a jump of 53-50.

BITS AND PIECES: Phillip Phillips’s “Home” is No. 1 for the third consecutive week on the Adult Contemporary chart and for the second week on Adult Contemporary Audience… Casey James’ “Crying on a Suitcase” continues in its peak position of No. 15 on Country Airplay and makes a big leap on Country Digital Songs, up 42-33… After a long run on the Christian Digital Songs chart, “Good Morning” by Mandisa featuring tobyMac re-surges in its 57th week, with a move of 22-16… Kelly Clarkson’s “Catch My Breath” breaks through to the top 20 of the Hot 100, with a three-point rise to No. 19.

Twitter: @Idol_Worship