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Chart Beat Podcast: Top 40 'American Idol' Hits, Part 2, From Kelly Clarkson to Clay Aiken, Daughtry & More

From left: Clay Aiken, Kelly Clarkson & Chris Daughtry
Getty Images; Design by Jessica Xie

From left: Clay Aiken, Kelly Clarkson & Chris Daughtry

Plus, "Idol" expert Fred Bronson reviews the new season's start.

Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what's on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.

This week, Gary and Trevor count down Nos. 20 through 1 of our exclusive look at the top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hits by Idol contestants. Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Daughtry, Phillip Phillips, Jordin Sparks and more infuse the second half of the list, as we make our way to the top Idol tune since the show launched in 2002.

Plus, longtime Billboard Chart Beat columnist and Idol expert Fred Bronson stops by to review the first two episodes of the new comeback season on ABC, which started Sunday (March 11), after a nearly two-year break following Idol's first 15 seasons on Fox.

"I think the reason ABC wanted it was because they really loved Idol the way it was," Bronson says of the new episodes' largely familiar feel, even with new judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. "They haven't messed with the format. They wanted American Idol, and that's what they got.

"Fortunately, I think, they've kept the heart of Idol intact."

As always, check back for additional upcoming Chart Beat Podcast episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!


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