Billboard 200 Chart Moves: 'American Idol' Reaches New Low for Winner's Debut Album
Plus: "Now That's What I Call Music" claims its 120th charting album.
On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Aug. 27), the Suicide Squad soundtrack debuted atop the list, marking the first soundtrack to lead the chart in a year. Elsewhere in the top 10, Skillet’s Unleashed arrived at No. 3, the Now 59 compilation bows at No. 5 (see item, below) and DJ Snake’s Encore launched at No. 8.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the latest Billboard 200 chart:
— Various Artists, Now 59 - No. 5 — The Now That’s What I Call Music brand claims its 119th and 120th charting albums, as Now 59 (No. 5) and Now That’s What I Call Party Anthems 3 (No. 65) debut on the list. The compilations launch with 48,000 and 8,000 units, respectively, all in traditional album sales.
In total, 65 Now albums have reached the top 10, including all 59 of the numbered titles in the main collection. (The other six top 10 sets are genre-specific titles, like Now That’s What I Call Christmas and Now That’s What I Call Country.) The Now series -- which launched in 1998 -- has also generated a whopping 17 No. 1s, most recently with Now 50 in 2014.
— Disturbed, Immortalized - No. 17 — Disturbed’s Immortalized profits from a 99-cent sale tag in the Google Play store, as the set rockets 43-17 with 18,000 units (up 60 percent) and 14,000 in pure album sales (up 102 percent). The album notches its highest chart rank since its second week on the list, way back on Sept. 19, 2015 (when it fell from No. 1 to No. 10). The set continues to reap the benefits of its popular single, “The Sound of Silence,” which ranks as the biggest selling digital hard rock song of 2016 (910,000 downloads sold).
— O.A.R., XX - No. 34 — The band scores its fifth top 40-charting album on the Billboard 200, as XX starts at No. 31 with 13,000 units (12,000 in traditional album sales). The compilation set commemorates the 20th anniversary of the band’s formation in 1996, and features fan favorites, hits, live tracks and two new songs (“Follow Me, Follow You” and “I Go Through”).
The group previously hit the top 40 with its last four studio albums: The Rockville LP (No. 13 in 20014), King (No. 12, 2011), All Sides (No. 13, 2008) and Stories Of a Stranger (No. 40, 2005).
— Elvis Presley, Elvis: Way Down in the Jungle Room - No. 79 — 2016 marks Elvis Presley’s 50th year on Billboard 200 chart, and the King of Rock & Roll celebrates the anniversary with his first debut of the year on the list: Elvis: Way Down in the Jungle Room. The album is described in press materials by RCA Records and Legacy Recordings as “the most complete and comprehensive collection of Presley’s final studio recordings ever assembled in one anthology.” It starts with 7,000 units, of which nearly all are in traditional album sales. (The album was also available on vinyl LP, and bows at No. 13 on the Viny Albums chart with 1,000 copies sold.)
Presley made his debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart (then-named Best Selling Popular Albums) dated March 31, 1956 with his self-titled set. It eventually reached No. 1 and spent 10 weeks atop the list.
— Nick Fradiani, Hurricane - No. 121 — Nick Fradiani, the winner of the 14th season of American Idol, arrives on the Billboard 200 with his first post-Idol album, Hurricane. The set blows at No. 121 with just over 5,000 units (of which 5,000 are pure album sales).
The first 14 winners of American Idol have now all reached the chart with their debut albums. The 15th (and final) season winner, Trent Harmon, is currently at work on his first effort. Harmon was crowned the winner of Idol’s farewell season on April 7.
Fradiani’s debut marks the lowest debut for an Idol winner’s first album, both in terms of position and sales. See list, below.
History of American Idol Winners' First Albums on Billboard 200 Chart:
Artist - Title - Debut Position - Debut Sales – Year
Kelly Clarkson - Thankful - No. 1 - 297,000 - 2003
Ruben Studdard - Soulful - No. 1 - 417,000 - 2003
Fantasia - Free Yourself - No. 8 - 240,000 - 2004
Carrie Underwood - Some Hearts - No. 2 - 315,000 - 2005
Taylor Hicks - Taylor Hicks - No. 2 - 298,000 - 2006
Jordin Sparks - Jordin Sparks - No. 10 - 119,000 - 2007
David Cook - David Cook - No. 3 - 280,000 - 2008
Kris Allen - Kris Allen - No. 11 - 80,000 - 2009
Lee DeWyze - Live It Up - No. 19 - 39,000 - 2010
Scotty McCreery - Clear As Day - No. 1 - 197,000 - 2011
Phillip Phillips - The World From the Side of the Moon - No. 4 - 169,000 - 2012
Candice Glover - Music Speaks - No. 14 - 19,000 – 2014
Caleb Johnson – Testify – No. 24 – 11,000 – 2014
Nick Fradiani – Hurricane – No. 121 – 5,000 - 2016