Those who harbored any doubts that Chris Daughtry would successfully trade his in "American Idol" notoriety for modern rock glory are now biting their tongues. His band Daughtry's debut album has sold 4.4. million copies since its 2006 release, according to Nielsen Soundscan, and on July 14, he and guitarists Josh Steely and Brian Craddock, bassist Josh Paul and drummer Joey Branes released their sophomore effort, "Leave This Town." The album debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, and its lead single, "No Surprise," ranks at No. 5 on Adult Top 40 radio. Judging by the anthemic, hard-driving ballads that cover the rest of "Leave This Town," its safe to say that more hits will follow.
Billboard sat down with Daughtry and Craddock just after "Leave This Town" was released to talk about the band's newfound chemistry (a subject they touched on in their Billboard cover story back in June), how the frontman keeps his gritty voice in top shape, and why he recently performed a cover of Lady GaGa's "Poker Face" (even though he's more of a blackjack guy).