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American Idol’s Studdard Tops U.S. Music Charts
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “American Idol” champion Ruben Studdard topped the music charts this week, proving once again the power of the buzz surrounding the reality TV show.
Studdard’s new album, “Soulful” ranked No. 1, selling 417,000 units in the week ended Dec 14, becoming the third “American Idol” contender to have an album debut on top of U.S. album sales charts, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
The first season’s winner, Kelly Clarkson, debuted at No. 1 earlier this year when her album, “Thankful” sold 297,000 units in the first week, while “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken’s “Measure of A Man,” debuted at No. 1, selling 613,000 in April 2003, eclipsing both champions.
“If it’s an ‘American Idol’ record, you know that you have a built-in customer base. If it’s an ‘American Idol’ album that gets good radio play and is a good record, then you know you’re going to go even beyond,” said Violet Brown, director of urban music for Wherehouse Music stores.
“Studdard has had tons of urban radio and that has definitely added to his sales,” she said.
To be sure, not all of the “American Idol”-affiliated albums have been winners. Runner up Justin Guarini’s self-titled album debuted in June at No. 20, selling 57,000 units, and has sold only 136,000 units to date.
But industry experts cited a decent showing for a holiday compilation album by America Idol participants, called, “Great Holiday Classics,” which has sold 305,000 units to date.
Studdard’s opening was also boosted by the fact that music mogul Clive Davis was behind it.
Released on J records, Studdard’s album was one of three artists on the label who made it to the top 10 in the last week. J Records is a unit of Bertelsmann AG formed jointly with music industry veteran Davis, who is credited with boosting the careers of stars like Whitney Houston and Carlos Santana.
Ranking No. 2 behind “Soulful,” was J Records’ “Diary ofAlicia Keys,” which sold 342,000 units in its second week of release.
J Records also claimed the No. 7 spot with Rod Stewart’s “Volume II-Great American Songbook,” selling 204,000 units in the latest week.
Ranking No. 3 on the charts was “Now That’s What I Call Music!,” the 14th in a series of hits compilations culled from various major labels, selling 261,000 units.
Country singer Toby Keith’s “Shock N Y’all,” came at No. 4, selling 245,000 units, followed by Josh Groban’s “Closer,” which sold 238,000 units, ranking fifth.
OutKast, whose album, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” sold an estimated 215,000 units, claiming the No. 6 position, followed by Stewart.
Hilary Duff’s album, “Metamorphosis,” ranked No. 8, selling 201,000 units, followed by Sheryl Crow’s “The Very Best of
Sheryl Crow,” which held the No. 9 slot, selling 173,000 units.
Britney Spears’ much-hyped “In the Zone,” sold 158,000 units, putting her at the No. 10 spot, down from No. 7 last week.