“American Idol” celebrated its 10th anniversary by releasing a compilation album on March 15 of all the season winners, plus three songs by a trio of guys who have had major success since appearing on the show. So if you were worried that your favorite American Idol or Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, and/or Clay Aiken might be in need of a few dollars, fear no more, because 19/RCA opened up another revenue stream for 12 of the artists called “American Idol 10th Anniversary — The Hits, Vol. 1.”
Why would anyone suggest that the nine winners (and the addended trio) need money? Actually, it should not be suggested that all need money (or that any of them actually are in financial straits), just that a few might not have been able to cash in on the money-making music juggernaut that is “American Idol” as well as others. In fact, once one gets beyond Season 4, platinum albums for the winners (or anyone else, for that matter) become relatively scarce compared to the first four seasons.
David Cook was the last winner to have an album sell well over a million copies (platinum status). The season before, Jordin Sparks barely crossed the threshold (and still has sold less than 50,000 copies above the mark, although that will no doubt change when her new album is released). Taylor Hicks, the Season 5 winner, has yet to hit three-quarters of a million albums sold (although he was prematurely awarded a platinum album on number of copies shipped; this incompletion caused the Recording Industry Association of America, the organization that certifies record sales, to change its certification rules). Season 8 and 9 winners — Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze, respectively — are nowhere near gold certification, which is half a million in sales.
In seasons 1 through 5, “American Idol” produced four straight platinum-selling artists and a fourth-place platinum artist. Although their successive albums have sold less in an increasingly diminishing pattern (except for Kelly Clarkson, whose sophomore album, “Breakaway,” sold over 3 million more than her first — which sold 2.7 million — and her last album sold nearly a million, almost 100,000 more than her third album), those winning artists account for seven platinum albums (with four being multi-platinum and Carrie Underwood’s “Play On” ready to cross the 2 million barrier) between them.
And then there are Clay Aiken and Chris Daughtry, both of whom are multi-platinum artists, even though they didn’t win the contest. Both have two platinum status albums and each had their first album go multi-platinum. (And then there is the footnote that Chris Daughtry appeared on “American Idol” during Season 5, a season that has produced only one platinum artist, although Kellie Pickler might see her first album go platinum in the next few years.)
The album contains two #1 Billboard Hot 100 songs: Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and Daughtry’s “Home,” and Taylor Hicks’ flip side of his #1 song “Do I Make You Proud,” the cover of the Doobie Brothers’ “Takin’ It To The Streets.” There is also Carrie Underwood’s #1 Billboard Country Songs “Before He Cheats,” Fantasia’s #1 R&B hit “When I See U” and Jordin Sparks’ #2 Pop Songs charter with Chris Brown “No Air.” “American Idol 10th Anniversary — The Hits” also contains Lambert’s Grammy-nominated “Whataya Want From Me.”
Still, even with diminishing sales figures on their albums, most alumni are doing fine and are still releasing albums. In fact, Jordin Sparks, Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, David Cook, Kris Allen, and Adam Lambert are all scheduled for album releases in 2011.
“American Idol 10th Anniversary — The Hits” Track Listing
1. Kelly Clarkson – “Since U Been Gone”
2. Ruben Studdard – “Superstar”
3. Clay Aiken – “Invisible”
4. Fantasia – “When I See U”
5. Carrie Underwood – “Before He Cheats”
6. Taylor Hicks – “Takin’ It To The Streets”
7. Daughtry – “Home”
8. Jordin Sparks (duet with Chris Brown) – “No Air”
9. David Cook – “Light On”
10. Kris Allen – “Live Like We’re Dying”
11. Adam Lambert – “Whataya Want From Me”
12. Lee DeWyze – “Sweet Serendipity”
All album sales are U. S. sales totals only and are reflective of RIAA totals. Worldwide sales are not indicated.
“American Idol’s First Compilation Album Is Now Available,” AmericanIdol.com