Colbie Caillat practiced a little bit of reverse psychology as she waited for the numbers to come in for her sophomore album, "Breakthrough" -- which is No. 1 on this week's Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 106,000.
"You always hope for the best, but you never actually think it's going to happen," Caillat told Billboard.com from England, where she's currently touring. "I never want to get my hopes up. Everyone kept saying, 'I think it's gonna be No. 1. It's gonna be No. 1. It looks like it,' and I just kept trying to ignore it 'cause I didn't want it to not happen.
"And now that it is happening, I can't believe it. I'm so excited. I'm so thankful. I've grown up a lot over the past two years and I...just knew exactly what I wanted for the record and I was able to express that to my producers and the people I wrote songs with. To be able to do it the way I wanted and it actually turned out the way I wanted feels like such an accomplishment."
Caillat's 2007 debut, "Coco," peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified double-platinum. "Breakthrough's" first single, "Fallin' For You," has reached No. 12 on the Hot 100, and two tracks -- "Begin Again" and "You Got Me" -- are under consideration for the follow-up, with "Fearless" Caillat's personal choice for a third single.
Caillat said she hopes to show even more of that growth when she hits the road in North American with Howie Day to support "Breakthrough," starting Sept. 17 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, Calif. "I know I was very timid on the last tour," she acknowledged. "I wasn't a performer yet. I didn't know how to do it. I was very shy on stage...But I've really learned a lot. That's actually why I named my album 'Breakthrough;' I broke through my fear of performing and having stage fright. So now I'm being me and laughing and dancing with my band and telling the crowd about my songs."
During her brief break between tours Caillat is planning to record a pair of Christmas songs, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "Merry Christmas, Baby." One will be used for a Special Olympics compilation, while the other will be held because "something may just come up this year for Christmas songs or radio and I'm going to be on tour, so I won't have time to record it. I may as well do it now and be ahead of the game." She and collaborator Stacy Blue, who co-wrote Caillat's 2007 holiday single "Misteltoe," are also planning to write some new Christmas songs.