Phillip Phillips debut album gets No. 1 billing

Norman Byrd's picture

Season 11 "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips saw his first album rise to the top, adding to his growing list of releases to top the charts.

When Phillip Phillips released his first album, The World from the Side of the Moon, it sold the fourth-most number of albums in the US, according to Nielsen Soundscan (via "Idol Chatter"). Still holding strong, the album placed at No. 5 its second week in release. However, it has been in the top spot on the Billboard Rock Albums chart both weeks, giving the "Idol" winner the right to say he has a No. 1 album.

What's more impressive is that he's held off Kid Rock's ninth studio album, Rebel Soul, two consecutive weeks to be able to say it. At the same time, it has kept Led Zeppelin's Celebration Day, a chronicle of the recently honored (Kennedy Center Honors) band's O2 London concert in 2007 for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert and soundtrack to the film of the same name, and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part II" soundtrack, which it replaced at the top. Also kept from the top, a couple of acts to which the "Idol" winner sounds similar, Mumford and Sons (Babel) and The Lumineers (The Lumineers). Holiday music rockers Trans-Siberian Orchestra are also reaching for the top spot with their seasonal EP release, Dreams Of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night).

According to Nielsen Soundscan, The World from the Side of the Moon sold an impressive 75,000 copies its second week, bringing Phillips total to two-week total to 245,000 copies sold. That's already nearly 100,000 copies more than Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze's debut, Live It Up (which holds the ignominious title of being the lowest placing "American Idol" winner debut and the least selling), and only about a 100,000 short of Season 8 winner Kris Allen's eponymous first release.

He's got a ways to go to catch Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery, though. The North Carolina country singer's first post-"Idol" album, Clear As Day, has sold 1.13 million units so far and is continuing to sell well into the 2012 holiday season, no doubt getting a bit of a bump from his continued presence on holiday specials (including his own on CMT) and the release of his second album, Christmas with Scotty McCreery, a collection of holiday songs.

He's got even further to go to catch other first releases and not just winners, either. Bucky Covington, Adam Lambert, David Archuleta, Kellie Pickler, Jennifer Hudson, Josh Gracin, Bo Bice, Elliott Yamin, Clay Aiken, and Daughtry all had good first runs. In fact, Adam Lambert's first album, For Your Entertainment, has sold over 838,000 copies, Jennifer Hudson's self-title debut just a thousand more. But Clay Aiken's first album, Measure Of A Man, sold 2.38 million and Chris Daughtry's band that sports his last name saw his first post-"Idol" effort sell 4.88 million.

As for the winners, he's got even further to go -- even further than past Scotty McCreery's Clear As Day, which, as noted, is a fairly large accumulation of sales. Ahead of McCreery is Season 7 winner David Cook, his self-titled first major label release posting 1.32 million in sales. Then there is Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard, whose Soulful netted 1.79 million copies. Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino scored 1.82 million with Free Yourself. Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson pulls down the second-best bestselling "Idol" winner debt album, her Thankful selling 2.75 million units to date. But at the top of the "Idol" list sits Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts, an album that has gone 7-times platinum, moving over 7.27 copies since its release in 2005.

It's a long way to go to reach some of those milestones, but Phillips is definitely well on his way. According to his official website, he's on the CBS special "Home For The Holidays" on Dec. 19 and will appear on Fox's "New Year's Eve Live" show. The album's first single, "Home," is still selling like it will never stop, moving another 117,000 copies in the past week, bringing the song's total sales to nearly 2.7 million copies. The second single, "Gone, Gone, Gone" moved another 20,000 copies as well.

According to, the No. 1 posting for The World from the Side of the Moon is the Georgia singer's sixth on Billboard charts. Overall, it is the 370th No. 1 across all Billboard charts occupied by "American Idol" contestants.

The generator of the Idols, "American Idol" itself, returns on January 16 for Season 12.

(photo credit: darkknightjc, Creative Commons)


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