November 28, 2011

Can Kelly Clarkson Regain Title as Bestselling “Idol” with the Release of “Stronger”?

Indeed, for those who don’t know, original “American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson isn’t the bestselling “Idol” alumni of all time. Although her name has become synonymous with the “Idol” franchise ever since she won the title way back in 2002, she hasn’t claimed the top spot since 2008.

Surprising as it may sound (or not), she was edged out as being the bestselling “American Idol” when fellow alumni Carrie Underwood debuted her sophomore album, “Carnival Ride” to much commercial success. Ever since then, Clarkson has been occupying the number-two spot but has been drawing ever so closer to match Underwood’s album sales.

Does "Stronger" have enough to fight its way to the top?

But can Clarkson close the gap and capture the coveted spot of bestselling “Idol” with the release of her fifth album “Stronger”? Sorry Clarkson fans, my guess is probably not. Although “Stronger” debuted at number-two on the Billboard 200 Charts (which is rather commendable given that Coldplay dropped their album “Mylo Xyloto” the same week), the album only sold a paltry 168,000 copies, easily making it Clarkson’s weakest album debut. Compare that to her most recent album “All I Ever Wanted” which amassed sales of 255,000 and also arguably her disastrous third album, “My December” which managed to rake in a total of 291,000 copies in its first week.

However, Clarkson’s lead single “Mr. Know It All” is gaining momentum having just cracked the Hot 100 on the Billboard Charts. Touted a so-called “sleeper hit”, the Southern-infused, soulful power ballad is just receiving considerable airplay after 10 weeks since its release.

By all accounts, “Stronger” just doesn’t stack up to the massive success of Underwood’s first three albums, which I might add have all accumulated upwards of 2,000,000 in sales. In fact Underwood’s debut album, “Some Hearts” went 7x Platinum having amassed a whopping 7,134,000 copies alone. If that isn’t enough, “Some Hearts” is listed as one of the 100 Best Selling Album of All Time by RIAA.

Bestselling “American Idol” Alumni (in album sales)

  1. Carrie Underwood (Season 4 / Winner) – 12,393,000
  2. Kelly Clarkson (Season 1 / Winner) – 10,849,000
  3. Chris Daughtry (Season 5 / 4th Place) – 6,102,000
  4. Clay Aiken (Season 2 / Runner-Up) – 4,960,000
  5. Fantasia Barrino (Season 3 / Winner) – 2,809,000
So it seems highly unlikely that Clarkson, or any other “Idol” alumni for that matter, will dethrone the unstoppable country hit-maker. But still, no matter how well an artist’s album charts, it’s all about making good music.

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Recultured Team
Recultured Team
This is where you'll find the blog posts that the team has contributed to collectively! What team? Wildcats! -Nope, wrong team. Recultured!

  • As a Kelly Clarkson fan since 2002, the Stronger album is super awesome! Even though she may not have the highest grossing sales of the American Idol winners, the album overall is pretty good. I was so surprised when I got the CD, I don’t think there was a song on the album that disappointed.


  • Jonathan DeBusk

    You should have noted that this article only counts US sales.

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