Friday, October 26, 2012
First 'Idol' winner with a holiday album Scotty McCreery charts in first!
Some are going to find this little piece of trivia almost too difficult to believe: "American Idol" Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery was the first "Idol" title holder to release a Christmas (a.k.a. holiday) album. And if that wasn't surprising enough on its own, he's also the first "Idol" finalist in the country music genre -- Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Bucky Covington, Josh Gracin, Danny Gokey -- to have a major label holiday album. That being said, he dropped the album last week and picked up where he left off, the new offering, Christmas with Scotty McCreery, placing first in sales on the Billboard Holiday Albums chart.
According to Billboard, McCreery's latest release, an 11-track collection that includes a couple of original holiday songs, pushed 41,000 copies its first week out. It was enough to displace Blake Shelton's Cheers, It's Christmas, which had held the top Holiday Albums spot for two consecutive weeks.
But you have to hand it to the recently turned 19-year-old singer -- he certainly knows how to come in first.
After winning the Fox Television singing competition and touring with the other "American Idol" finalists in 2011, McCreery released his first album, Clear As Day. The next week it was first in sales, topping the Billboard 200. It was also No. 1 on the Country albums chart. Not only that but it was the first time a country artist had seen their first album debut at No. 1. To add icing to the "first" cake, McCreery, who had just turned 18 when Clear As Day topped the charts, became the youngest artist in the Nielsen Soundscan era (since 1991) to have a No. 1 debut album.
In all, prior to Christmas with Scotty McCreery posting at the top spot, AmericanIdol.com reported that McCreery had topped one of Billboard's charts 7 times. (That's a far cry from Kelly Clarkson's 79 but the Season 1 winner had a nine-year head start, so...)
McCreery also won the Best New Artist award at the 2nd Annual American Music Awards and the Best New Artist at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Both awards were determined by popular vote.
With the album at No. 1, McCreery isn't just the only "American Idol" winner to release an album of Christmas music, by default it makes him the first "Idol" winner with a No. 1 Holiday Albums chart-topper.
Of course, he's not the only "Idol" with a holiday album. In fact, Season 5's Mandisa just revamped her 2009 holiday collection, It's Christmas, re-releasing it on Oct. 9 with new material as It's Christmas: Christmas Angel Edition. Other "Idol" finalists with Christmas albums include Season 9's Michael Sarver (but only in digital format), Season 5's Elliott Yamin (who has two holiday albums to his credit), Season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee, and Season 2's Kimberley Locke.
But the biggest sellers have been by another couple of runners-up. Season 8's David Archuleta's Christmas From The Heart has sold nearly 250,000 copies to date. Season 2's Clay Aiken, though, has the record to beat. His Merry Christmas with Love has sold over 1.4 million units to date.
It might take awhile, but given Scotty McCreery's apparent predilection for being first, there might come a day when he heads that list as well.
Christmas with Scotty McCreery also did well on two other charts, landing at the No. 2 position on the Country Albums chart and No. 4 on the Billboard 200, which lists the best selling albums in the U. S.
The young "Idol" star will appear on "CMA Country Christmas," a special being taped in Nashville on Nov. 3 and set to air sometime during the holidays. Along with other country music luminaries, McCreery will share the stage with current "American Idol" judge Keith Urban.