21 Under 21: Scotty McCreery (2011)
Scotty and Lauren smile and chat about facing each other in the season 10 finale

THE START OF SOMETHING 'BIG': After a one-year break, the annual "American Idol" coronation single returns to the Billboard Hot 100's top 15.

Newly-crowned "Idol" champion Scotty McCreery's "I Love You This Big" blasts in at No. 11, making the country singer the ninth of the Fox series' 10 winners to launch their debut track at No. 15 or higher. Lee DeWyze snapped the streak last year when his cover of U2's "Beautiful Day" debuted and peaked at No. 24.

Here is a recap of how each "Idol" victor has fared on the Hot 100 with their introductory singles:

Year, Peak Pos., Artist, Title
2002, No. 1 (two weeks), Kelly Clarkson, "A Moment Like This"
2003, No. 2, Ruben Studdard, "Flying Without Wings"
2004, No. 1 (one week), Fantasia, "I Believe"

2005, No. 1 (one week), Carrie Underwood, "Inside Your Heaven"
2006, No. 1 (one week), Taylor Hicks, "Do I Make You Proud"
2007, No. 15, Jordin Sparks, "This Is My Now"
2008, No. 3, David Cook, "The Time of My Life"
2009, No. 11, Kris Allen, "No Boundaries"
2010, No. 24, Lee DeWyze, "Beautiful Day"
2011, No. 11, Scotty McCreery, "I Love You This Big"

As previously reported, McCreery scores the highest debut on Country Songs for a new artist since the chart converted to Nielsen BDS data in 1990. The 17-year-old also manages his first Billboard No. 1, as "Big" begins atop Country Digital Songs.

ADORIN' LAUREN: 2011 runner-up Lauren Alaina likewise translates her "Idol" exposure to residence on multiple charts, as her "Like My Mother Does" enters the Hot 100 at No. 20 and Country Digital Songs at No. 2.

Alaina logs the highest Hot 100 arrival since 2005 for a runner-up's single released alongside an "Idol" finale:

Year, Peak Pos., Artist, Title
2002, n/a, Justin Guarini (no single released)
2003, No. 1 (two weeks), Clay Aiken, "This Is the Night"

2004, n/a, Diana DeGarmo (no single released)
2005, No. 2, Bo Bice, "Inside Your Heaven"
2006, No. 60, Katharine McPhee, "My Destiny"
2007, n/a, Blake Lewis (no single released)
2008, No. 60, David Archuleta, "In This Moment"
2009, No. 72, Adam Lambert, "No Boundaries"
2010, No. 57, Crystal Bowersox, "Up to the Mountain"
2011, No. 20, Lauren Alaina, "Like My Mother Does"

(Lambert, Archuleta and McPhee each charted higher on the Hot 100 with tracks other than their official finale singles, while DeGarmo started at No. 14 with "Dreams," the lead single from her first album, "Blue Skies," shortly after the 2004 "Idol" season).

'YOUNG' LOVE: As Lauren Alaina scores her own chart success, the 16-year-old adds an assist on the continued chart path of the Band Perry's "If I Die Young."

Six months after topping Country Songs, "Young" debuts on the Pop Songs radio airplay chart at No. 36. While Universal Republic has been promoting the song to pop stations since the beginning of the year, Alaina boosted its profile when she sang the ballad on "Idol" May 16.

"Young," which concurrently bows on Adult Contemporary at No. 29, is the 15th former Country Songs leader to cross to Pop Songs and just the fifth by a group. Lonestar reached No. 7 with "Amazed" in 2000, followed by Bon Jovi's "Who Says You Can't Go Home" (No. 30, 2006), Rascal Flatts' "What Hurts the Most" (No. 22, 2006) and Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (No. 2, 2010).

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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