Hot Shot Debuts: There’s no question that the hottest of the Hot Shot Debuts this week belongs to newly-minted “American Idol” champion David Cook. The rock-inflected singer storms The Billboard Hot 100 at No. 3 with “The Time of My Life,” but doesn’t stop there: Cook also brings 10 other songs with him, setting a new record for most debuts in a week in the Hot 100’s 50-year history. Together, the 11 songs also mark the most by one artist to register on the chart since April 11, 1964, when the Beatles managed the same feat. Meanwhile, Cook enters Hot Digital Songs with 14 tracks, another record. “Life,” which bows at No. 1, moves 236,000 downloads, the eighth-best first-week digital sales tally and second-best for a debut male artist.
Over on The Billboard 200, 3 Doors Down earns the Hot Shot Debut trophy with its self-titled album and second-consecutive No. 1. “3 Doors Down” shifts 154,000 copies and helps keep a winning streak alive for the band: all four of its full-lengths have debuted within the top 10 of the chart.
TV helps make a hot shot out of another singer this week, as former “Dancing with the Stars” champ-turned-country-singer Julianne Hough breaks Top Country Albums in the pole position. Her self-titled album moves 67,000 units, the biggest opening week for a newcomer on the tally since “American Idol” alum Kellie Pickler arrived with 79,000 copies of “Small Town Girl” in November 2006.
And over on Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums, UGK crew member Bun-B gets the Hot Shot Debut award for his second solo set “II Trill,” which enters on top of the list. The album also lands at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 with 98,000 copies sold, only 17% off the first-week numbers for “Trill,” which opened with 118,000 (No. 6) in 2005.
Greatest Gainers: Television helps out in the Greatest Gainer category this week, too, as Carrie Underwood nabs that award on Top Country Albums for “Carnival Ride.” The album holds in the No. 4 position for a second week, but sees a 58% sales bump to 25,000 after the singer’s appearance on the “American Idol” finale and the Academy of Country Music Awards telecast.
Flobots scores the Greatest Gainer prize on The Billboard 200 with “Fight with Tools,” which rockets 183-15 thanks to its re-release on Universal Republic. Previously independently-distributed, the album sees a whopping 698% sales increase to 30,000 in its third week.
On Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Rick Ross sews on Greatest Gainer stripes for “Trilla,” which moves 4-3 with a 19% sales bump in its 12th week. Outside an early No. 75 bow due to street date violations, “Trilla” has spent its entire chart run inside the top four.
The Billboard Hot 100’s Greatest Gainer/Digital award belongs to Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida,” which jumps 41-10 with the help of a 149% downloads climb that propels the track 14-4 on Hot Digital Songs. Meanwhile, Chris Brown takes home the Greatest Gainer/Airplay award even as “Forever” slips 20-23.
Pacesetters: In its 97th week, Rodney Atkins’ “If You’re Going Through Hell” sets the pace on Top Country Albums, stepping 26-20. Once again, the aforementioned ACM Awards lend a hand, propelling the set to sales of 8,000, a 73% increase.
One Republic’s “Dreaming Out Loud” is the Billboard 200’s pacesetter this week as it jumps 107% to 17,000 in its 27th week with a lift from the band’s performance of hit single “Apologize” with “American Idol” runner-up David Archuleta on the show’s finale.
And on Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums, it’s T-Pain who brings home the Pacesetter trophy for “Epiphany,” which climbs 95-77 with a 25% sales increase in its 51st week.
—Susan Visakowitz with additional reporting by Keith Caulfield, Raphael George, Katie Hasty, Wade Jessen, Geoff Mayfield and Silvio Pietroluongo