'American Idol' on the Charts: Jordin Sparks Turns Holiday Classic Into Latest Billboard Hit
The season six winner joins Bing Crosby, Whitney Houston and Carrie Underwood in covering a 50-year-old standard. Plus: the couple that charts together? Season 10's Paul McDonald and wife Nikki Reed of "Twilight" fame duet on a No. 1 album.
'HEAR,' HERE: Jordin Sparks collects her sixth entry on the Adult Contemporary chart with her version of a song written in 1962 and first recorded by the Harry Simeone Chorale. It was a hit again in 1963 for crooner Bing Crosby and then yet again in 1987 for Whitney Houston. “Do You Hear What I Hear,” a plea for peace inspired by the Cuban Missile Crisis, has previously charted on the Adult Contemporary list for Vanessa Williams (No. 15 the week of Jan. 4, 1997), Carrie Underwood (No. 2 the week of Dec. 15, 2007) and Susan Boyle featuring Amber Stassi (No. 17 the week of Jan. 8, 2011).
The Sparks recording enters this week at No. 25. The song is available on the 25th anniversary edition of A Very Special Christmas, a series of albums conceived in 1987 by American Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine to benefit the Special Olympics.
Sparks made her Adult Contemporary chart debut four years ago with “Tattoo,” which peaked at No. 7 the week of May 31, 2008. She then went to No. 11 with “No Air,” her duet with Chris Brown, which peaked exactly four years ago today, on Nov. 22, 2008. Her next AC hit, “One Step at a Time,” peaked at No. 13 the week of March 28, 2009. Then came “Battlefield,” which stopped at No. 16 the week of Nov. 14, 2009. Sparks was most recently on the AC tally with her collaboration with Whitney Houston on “Celebrate.” That song from the soundtrack to Sparkle stalled at No. 26 the week of Aug. 11.
Sparks isn’t the only Idol spreading holiday cheer on this week’s charts. Mandisa’s EP, It’s Christmas: Christmas Angel Edition re-enters the Top Holiday Albums chart at No. 47. On that same survey, Scotty McCreery’s Christmas with Scotty McCreery holds at No. 5 with a bullet.
'BREAKING' NEWS: Season 10 finalist Paul McDonald and his wife Nikki Reed have a song on a No. 1 album on this week’s Billboard charts. Their duet, “All I’ve Ever Needed,” is track 11 on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, which debuts at No. 1 on the Top Soundtracks chart. On The Billboard 200, the album enters at No. 3.
Since McDonald and Reed are part of a various artists soundtrack, they won’t see their names on a Billboard chart unless the track earns a berth on its own. McDonald charted last year, also not under his own name. His group, the Grand Magnolias, peaked at No. 12 on the Heatseekers chart with their self-titled debut, benefitting from McDonald’s appearances on Idol.
Unfortunately, the duet by McDonald and Reed (who stars as Rosalie Hale in the film series) will not be eligible for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, as it is the fifth song in the end credits and Academy rules only allow the first song in the end credits to be nominated.
BITS AND PIECES: Phillip Phillips’ “Home” continues to advance on a number of domestic Billboard charts, but it’s positively surging north of the border. The single rockets 42-27 with a bullet on the Canadian Hot 100… Carrie Underwood’s new single, “Two Black Cadillacs,” debuts at No. 49 on the Hot Country Songs chart. It could make major moves next week, after her appearance on the American Music Awards… The Broadway version of Rock of Ages is moving back up the Top Cast Albums chart, with a 15-14 move for the album that features vocals by Constantine Maroulis… Kelly Clarkson’s latest single, “Catch My Breath,” enjoys a 96-74 hike on the Hot 100. This is another song that could reap rewards from an AMA appearance… Colton Dixon’s “You Are” ascends 27-23 with a bullet on the Christian Songs chart and debuts at No. 26 on the Christian Adult Contemporary chart.