IT'S CHRISTMAS IN OCTOBER: Scotty McCreery and Adam Lambert appeared on American Idol two seasons apart and one was a winner and the other a runner-up, but they have something very specific in common this week: they both score debuts at No. 1 on the current crop of charts, bringing the total of No. 1 hits for the popular TV franchise to 365.
Season 10's McCreery has three new No. 1s, all thanks to his first holiday album, Christmas With Scotty McCreery. The set opens in pole position on Top Holiday Albums and Top Internet Albums. The lead single from the album, “Christmas in Heaven,” bows at No. 1 on the Holiday Digital Songs tally.
These three new No. 1s, added to McCreery’s previous seven, bring his total of chart-toppers to ten. That puts him in a tie with season eight’s Lambert, whose “Trespassing” debuts at No. 1 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart. Lambert was already in the top ten among all Idols with the most No. 1 songs; McCreery now joins him in the top ten (see current ranking below):
Kelly Clarkson 79
Carrie Underwood 65
Chris Daughtry (Daughtry) 39
Ruben Studdard 16
Jennifer Hudson 15
Clay Aiken 12
Adam Lambert 10
Scotty McCreery 10
McCreery earned his first Billboard No. 1 the week of June 11, 2011, when his coronation tune, “I Love You This Big,” occupied the penthouse of the Country Digital Songs survey. Three months later, the follow-up single, “The Trouble With Girls,” spent one week at No. 1 on the Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart. In October 2011, McCreery’s first album, Clear as Day, simultaneously debuted at No. 1 on five charts: The Billboard 200, Top Country Albums, Top Internet Albums, Top Digital Albums and Top Current Albums.
McCreery is the third Idol to reach No. 1 on the Top Holiday Albums chart. Clay Aiken was the first, back in December 2004 when Merry Christmas with Love began a six-week reign. Elliott Yamin was next, when his Sounds of the Season: The Elliott Yamin Holiday Collection spent one week on top in January 2008.
Being No. 1 on Holiday Digital Songs is just part of the good news for McCreery on that chart. In addition to “Christmas In Heaven,” McCreery has six other songs from his seasonal set debut, including “Mary Did You Know?” (No. 18), “Let It Snow” (No. 31), “First Noel” (No. 38), “Christmas Comin’ Round Again” (No. 39), “O Holy Night” (No. 43) and “Santa Claus Is Back in Town” (No. 49). That means seven of the 11 tracks on the album are charting on Holiday Digital Songs.
Lambert’s run of 10 No. 1s began the week of May 1, 2010, when “Whataya Want from Me” ruled both Hot Dance Singles Sales and Hot Singles Sales. That single went on to lead three Billboard recurrent charts and then Lambert collected four more No. 1s exactly five months ago when the Trespassing album topped The Billboard 200, Top Internet Albums, Top Digital Albums and Top Current Albums.
The number of Idol number ones is likely to grow in the coming weeks, as Kelly Clarkson releases a greatest hits album and her new single “Catch My Breath” races up the charts and Phillip Phillips releases his debut set, The World from the Side of the Moon.
EVERY ‘BREATH’ SHE TAKES: As predicted last week, Kelly Clarkson’s new single “Catch My Breath” debuts on several Billboard charts after showing up last week on the Adult Top 40 Audience list. “Catch My Breath” is a new entry this week on Hot Digital Songs (No. 11), Adult Top 40 (No. 32) and the Hot 100 (No. 54). Clarkson is a staple at Adult Contemporary radio but “Catch My Breath” hasn’t debuted on that chart yet – probably because “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” is still No. 6 and the follow-up, “Dark Side,” continues to chart, holding at No. 25.
“Catch My Breath” also debuts north of the border, entering the Canadian Hot 100 at No. 25.
BITS AND PIECES: On the Hot 100, Phillip Phillips’ “Home” is up two places, landing at No. 17. But the song takes a bigger hike on the Hot 100 Singles Airplay chart, where it leaps 29-20…Just a few weeks after his single “Never Gone” debuted at No. 1 on two Christian sales charts, Colton Dixon’s “You Are” enters the airplay-based Christian Songs chart at No. 36. It’s the highest new entry of the week…Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” is No. 1 for the second week on the Country Airplay tally and also stands pat at No. 2 on Hot Country Songs.