The sales from Phillip Phillips' records are definitely something for the "American Idol" producers to crow about. In a category that has seen a glut of artists in recent years and ever-diminishing sales (save for the fortunate few), the Season 11 winner of America's top singing competition reality show has managed to move massive numbers of records. With his fifth week in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200, the 22-year-old Georgian's The World from the Side of the Moon has become the fastest selling album from an "American Idol" winner since David Cook's eponymous debut.
According to Billboard, Phillips' first studio album sold another 98,000 copies its fifth week in release, giving it a firm hold on the No. 7 spot in the weekly album countdown. The near-100,000 in sales pushed The World from the Side of the Moon to a total of 475,000 copies sold, knocking on the RIAA gold certification door.
Billboard noted that the sales rate of the singer's first album was the fastest off-the-mark pace set by an "Idol" winner since David Cook moved 478,000 copies of his self-titled debut in three weeks at the end of 2008.
By way of comparison, Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery, the next bestselling "Idol" winner after Cook, fell out of the Top 10 in his fifth week on the Billboard 200. According to USA Today's "Idol Chatter," he moved a still impressive 41,000 copies of his debut, Clear As Day, and posted a five-week total of 424,000 copies sold.
Even if Phillips were to see a sales drop to half of his fifth week's sales in the following week, the numbers would still push him well over the threshold for a gold album certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Phillips already has one gold and two platinum certifications for his coronation single, "Home," which is also featured on the album. (A second live version of the song is featured on the Deluxe and the Target Deluxe editions of The World from the Side of the Moon.) The song just crossed the 3 million mark in sales, which means the RIAA will soon bestow Phillips will his third platinum certification for the runaway hit. Since its release, it has topped several Billboard charts, been used as trailer background for the Clint Eastwood movie "Trouble With The Curve," saw play as the theme for the US Women's Gymnastics team during the NBC coverage of the 2012 Olympics, and Phillips himself has performed it numerous times at nationally televised events.
"Home" is the top selling "American Idol" coronation song of all time. In this aspect, he has far outstripped the former best selling winner's song, "The Time Of My Life" by David Cook. That single has sold 1.46 million copies to date, according to Yahoo's "Chart Watch."
Phillips was expected to ring in the new year on Fox's "New Year's Eve Live!" show but a last-minute schedule alteration now has "X Factor" Season 2 winner Tate Stevens penciled into his spot. The scheduling change has thus far gone unexplained (the "Events" section on his official website show nothing scheduled until the end of January) but Phillips had life-threatening medical issuesto deal with while he made his winning run on "American Idol."
"American Idol" returns on January 16, 2013. Apparently, Phillip Phillips will return on January 29.
Take Home Message: Performance records are not just benchmarks of achievement. They can also be targets for the goals we set ourselves.