Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.
KE$HA: 'WORLD'-CLASS SINGER/SONGWRITER
It's been months since I wrote to your column but I follow it online every Friday.
As for your e-mail (I held off on the answer like Ryan Seacrest revealing a contestant's fate), Cowell was correct: Underwood is the best-selling U.S. album artist among "Idol" singers.
Here is an updated ranking of the series' 10 top-selling graduates, by career album sales to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan:
Total Sales, Artist, Year Competed
12.2 million, Carrie Underwood (2005)
10.7 million, Kelly Clarkson (2002)
6.1 million, (Chris) Daughtry (2006)
5 million, Clay Aiken (2003)
2.8 million, Fantasia (2004)
2.6 million, Ruben Studdard (2003)
1.3 million, David Cook (2008)
1.3 million, Kellie Pickler (2006)
1.3 million, Jordin Sparks (2007)
1.1 million, David Archuleta (2008)