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Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Simple Man’ Back on Charts After Viral ‘American Idol’ Cover

Colin Stough performed the song during his audition, which aired Feb. 19.

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” is back on the Billboard charts following a performance of the song during the audition rounds of the new season of American Idol.

The song returns to Billboard’s Hot Rock & Alternative Songs tally dated March 4 at No. 23. (Older songs are eligible to appear on Billboard’s multimetric charts if ranking in the top half and have a meaningful reason for their resurgences.)


In the Feb. 17-23 tracking week, “Simple Man” earned 3.6 million official U.S. streams, a 4% boost, and sold 1,000 downloads, up 189%, according to Luminate.

The latter count also allows the song to hit the Rock Digital Song Sales survey at No. 11.

Country singer Colin Stough performed the song on the Feb. 19 season premiere of ABC’s American Idol. Since its upload, the audition has been watched more than 1 million times globally on YouTube. Stough got a golden ticket to advance in the competition.

“Simple Man” was originally released in 1973 on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut album, (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd). Although not promoted as a single, the tune has become one of the band’s most enduring compositions, with more than 100 weeks spent on Billboard’s Rock Streaming Songs chart and 25 tallied on Rock Digital Song Sales. It has drawn 1.8 billion in cumulative radio audience and 875.4 million official on-demand U.S. streams and sold 2.2 million downloads through Feb. 23 (dating to the inception of Luminate data in 1991).