“Stronger” wore the Idol sales crown for about eight months. It surpassed Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” on July 1, 2012. Underwood’s smash held the title for nearly five years. It surpassed Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” on Aug. 19, 2007. While those three other hits are all sassy and up-tempo, “Home” echoes the rootsy folk-pop sound of Mumford & Sons.
“Home” was Phillips’ “coronation song” on Idol in May, when he was declared the Season 11 winner. The song entered the Hot 100 at #10 in June. It then tumbled down the chart, but got its second wind after NBC featured the song during its coverage of the Summer Olympics in August. The week after the Olympics, it rebounded from #84 to #9. It finally peaked at #6 in January.
While “Home” has drawn frequent comparisons to Mumford & Sons, it has done better than any of that British group’s hits. Mumford & Sons’ best-selling song is “Little Lion Man” (2,326,000). Its highest-charting hit is “I Will Wait” (#12).
“Before He Cheats” is now in third place among songs by Idol alums, with sales of 3,735,000. “No Air” by Sparks & Chris Brown is in fourth place, with sales of 3,531,000.
Here’s the rest of the all-time Idol top 10, in descending order: Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” (2,709,000), Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” (2,611,000), Daughtry’s “Home” (2,349,000), Daughtry’s “It’s Not Over” (2,302,000), “Don’t You Wanna Stay” by Jason Aldean with Clarkson (2,287,000) and Sparks’ “Tattoo” (2,226,000).
Underwood has three of the top 10 best-selling albums by Idol alums. Clarkson and Aiken each have two.
Breakaway is in second place, with sales of 6,282,000. Here’s the rest of the all-time Idol top 10, in descending order: Daughtry’s debut album, Daughtry (4,938,000); Underwood’s sophomore album, Carnival Ride (3,318,000); Aiken’s Measure Of A Man (2,786,000); Clarkson’s Thankful (2,772,000); Underwood’s third album, Play On (2,190,000); Fantasia’s debut, Free Yourself (1,839,000); Ruben Studdard’s debut, Soulful (1,792,000); and Aiken’s holiday album, Merry Christmas With Love (1,380,000).
Clarkson’s “Stronger” made a bit of history in December as the first recording by an Idol alum to receive a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year. (It lost to “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra.) “Home” was also eligible in that category, but was passed over for a nomination by the panel of Grammy insiders who determine the final nominations in the top four categories.
Phillips will have a second chance to receive a Grammy nomination in a marquee category this December. He’s vying to become only the second Idol alum to receive a nomination for Best New Artist. The first was Underwood, who went on to win the award. (Best New Artist nominations are keyed to the release of the artist’s debut album. Phillips’ debut album was released in this eligibility year.)
In addition, Hudson is the only Idol alum to have won an Oscar. She was voted Best Actress In A Supporting Role for her performance as Effie White in 2006’s Dreamgirls.
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