Colton Dixon Debuts at #1, Breaks Soundscan Records

Congratulations to American Idol alum, Colton Dixon. His debut album, The Messenger, debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Christian & Gospel album chart #1 Billboard’s Christian & Gospel Digital Album, #1 Billboard’s Christian & Gospel Rock/Alternative Album and 15 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart.

With over 22k record sold, Colton becomes the highest solo new artist debut on the Christian music chart in the history of Soundscan.

Read the press release announcing the good news below:

NASHVILLE, TN, February 6, 2013 — Colton Dixon’s inspiring powerhouse album A Messenger debuts at #1 on Billboard’s Christian & Gospel album chart, #1 Billboard’s Christian & Gospel Digital Album, #1 Billboard’s Christian & Gospel Rock/Alternative Album and 15 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart this week. With over 22,000 units, Colton becomes the highest solo new artist debut on the Christian music chart in the history of Soundscan.

A Messenger, released January 29, 2013 on EMI-CMG/Sparrow Records, is the debut album from Colton Dixon, American Idol Season 11 finalist.  An anthemic pop-rock collection of 11 tracks, the CD has already spawned two chart-topping singles, “Never Gone” and “You Are.” The album showcases the multi-talented singer/songwriter’s trademark balance of vocal tenderness and intensity, his energetic piano playing and, above all, a sense of hope and inspiration.

“You Are,” Colton’s current radio single, hit #1 its first week on the iTunes Christian & Gospel singles chart, Billboard’s Christian Digital Songs, and Christian/Gospel Digital Songs charts.  It currently resides at #5 with a bullet on Nielsen’s Christian Top 40 radio chart.  The fiery anthem was selected as USA Today’s Song of the Week upon its digital release in October.

Seen and heard by more than 360,000 fans during last summer’s American Idol Live Tour across the U.S., Colton Dixon’s uplifting power ballad “Never Gone” was an immediate hit digital single, selling 21,000 units its first week and heading straight to #1 on the iTunes Christian & Gospel singles chart, Billboard’s Christian Digital Songs, and Christian/Gospel Digital Songs charts. Colton’s performance of “Never Gone” on the tour marked the first time an Idol contestant has performed a song that they co-wrote on the Idol tour.

In support of A Messenger, Colton Dixon will be joining Third Day this spring on The Miracle Tour as a special guest during 45 dates, which begin on February 21, 2013 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA. February 14 will see Colton supporting fellow Idol, Jessica Sanchez, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Manila for a special Valentine’s Day concert. Colton is also slated to perform at the Alive Festival in Mineral City, OH, June 20, at Heritage Landing in Muskegon, MI, August 10, and the Rock the Universe Festival in Orlando, FL September 6. More dates and events still to be announced.

For the latest Colton Dixon appearances go to:
https://www.facebook.com/coltondixonmusic

  • irockhard

    Nice, looks like Colton’s first era will be successful.

  • Eileen99

    Congratulations to Colton!  I plan on picking up the album this weekend; I listened to it on Spotify & thought it was a really solid effort & very current-sounding for the genre.

  • zaclona77

    not a fan myself, but all those number ones sound awesome. congrats, much luck and do appreciate the wonderful moment in time for what it is, after all one does release a first album only once in a lifetime.

  • Nadine_Bitch

    Congrats, Colton!

  • girlygirltoo

    Congrats to Colton!  But this headline is a little misleading. The way it’s written, it reads as if he debuted at #1 on the overall chart and set some sort of overall record for sales :)

  • jcabby

    Way to go Colton! Congrats!

  • DB987

    Numbers are so funny what sucks for one artist are amazing for another.  I get the reasons why it depends what the pond the fish is swimming in. Congrats to Colton and all the other fish who dared to swim in any pond big or little.

  • ST7

    Congrats to him but the headline may confuse some people because its #1 ON THE CHRISTIAN charts – thats a lot different than overall charts.  22,000 albums may be HUGE in Christian – I dont know as I dont listen to that music, but its miniscule otherwise.  I bet he did a lot of promotion on Christian press and probably got a lot of attention during the show because theyre not used to Christian getting so much attention – Its the same thing that happened with Mandisa…I dont know if shes still signed as I havent seen new albums from them – – lots of the songs were good…but Im Jewish so sometimes Id in my mind replace God for Jesuses.  I remember in my 20s working a Gospel concert- one of the singers in additoin to Phillip bailey was Deniece Williams of Lets Hear it for the Boy fame.  I didnt realize there was a market of christian lyrics with pop music – and I actually found me and my boss grooving to the beats

  • http://twitter.com/MissGolightly22 No Thanks

     It’s a press release, that’s what they’re for.

  • girlygirltoo

    yes but I was talking about the headline on the blog, not in the press release.

    No matter, it’ not a big deal.

  • mjsbigblog

    It’s pretty clear in the post what the deal is. 

    Colton debuted at #1 on several charts. So basically, if a person is confused because they didn’t bother to click on the article and read it…I am personally not concerned.

  • mjsbigblog

    ts the same thing that happened with Mandisa…I dont know if shes still signed as I havent seen new albums from them.

     Maindisa continues to make Christian contemporary records, and is still popular in that genre.

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    Hey congrats to Colton, he’s got some nice bragging rights there! Well played.

  • Anny_nanny

    Congrats to Colton!

    I waiting for the next joyful notes from THR about the increase in the #1 for the AI. This is correct, you need to understand what and for whom you are doing and do it well.

  • shell29

    Congrats to Colton! I think he’ll continue to do very well in the Contemporary Christian genre.

  • irockhard

    Colton’s debut is yet another example of how Idol is still the only singing show that can produce relevant recording artists whether mainstream or niche, major or indie.

  • http://twitter.com/RonnieDRocks Ronnie D

     Relevant? Colton is mostly only relevant in his niche, which is Christian radio. I can’t think of a Christian artist besides maybe Jars of Clay that have had major success on the regular Billboard charts.

  • irockhard

    That’s the point, relevant in his niche. Everyone strives to achieve long term success in the market they choose to work in, by the standard of the same market no matter how small or obscure. Crossover into other markets (which is usually short lived anyway) is just the icing on the cake, it’s not the main goal. That’s what separates artists from fame whores.

  • chessguy99

    He did this without the extensive touring most CCM artists do before they launch their debut album. With this start, Colton looks to be on his way to being a mainstay on the CCM scene. 

  • rbidol

    How is being successful in your niche not relevant? Especially when that “niche” is central in the lives of millions of Americans. There is a whole world of people who listen to nothing but Christian music…and a successful song in evangelical circles will be played and sung in churches big and small across the country for many years. Those in the “mainstream” may never hear the song, but a huge minority will know the song by heart for decades.

    I’m not a Colton fan, and I don’t listen to much Christian music, but having a successful career in this niche is a significant achievement. The show is American Idol, and Christian music is a important though overlooked part of the American musical landscape, so I think this is a big deal for Colton and for the franchise. A #1 album is a #1 album.

  • girlygirltoo

    CCM  is not my thing, personally, but there are a few CCM artists who have done well on the overall charts. Chris Tomlin’s most recent album debuted at #1 on the overall BB Top 200 album chart just a couple of weeks ago. According to wikipedia, it was the 4th CCM album to debut at #1 on the BB Hot 200. The 3rd CCM album to do so was also recent — TobyMac’s most recent cd topped the BB Top 200 when it was released in Sept. 2012.

    http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/1490583/chris-tomlin-scores-first-no-1-album-on-billboard-200-chart#/news/chris-tomlin-scores-first-no-1-album-on-1008092552.story

  • chessguy99

    Skillet, Switchfoot, Lifehouse all have roots in CCM. Christian Rock artists have done well on regular rock charts, more so than non-rock CCM artists have done in Top 40 and Adult Contemporary.

  • http://twitter.com/eilonwya10 Eilonwy

     Relevant? Colton is mostly only relevant in his niche, which is Christian radio. I can’t think of a Christian artist besides maybe Jars of Clay that have had major success on the regular Billboard charts.

    Chris Tomlin: #1 Billboard 200, just recently
    TobyMac: #1 Billboard 200 last September (and September’s a decently hard month)
    LeCrae: #3 BB 200, also last September
    David Crowder Band: #2 on the BB 200 in January 2012
    Kari Jobe: top 10 on the BB 200 in late January 2012
    Casting Crowns: #2 BB 200 in October 2011 (and the group’s 4th top 10 BB 200 album)

    There are more, but I’m getting lazy. This is not to cast shade on Dixon’s #15 ranking, which is very solid. What happens is that there are a very small number of acts that are huuuuuuuge (and therefore can make the top 10 of the BB 200, though it helps to try in the winter), then the vast majority of acts barely scrape the BB 200 at all. Not so many in the middle, so Dixon did great.

    That said, “relevance” in CCM is largely within CCM: there’s not a ton of crossover to mainstream formats by bands that aim for CCM radio play. The faintly Christian-themed bands on rock and HAC radio tend to characterize themselves as “bands that happen to be Christian” and get little CCM radio play. 

    I’m all for concentrating on a niche, though, and building a solid career of being relevant there. Dixon is off to a good start.

  • http://twitter.com/bagel08 John S

    Happy for Colton. Also happy for Idol-even as a 7th placer, he still managed to outsell(more than double the amount) The Voice winner and The X Factor runner up. I guess that slogan they are using this year is true-others dream, idol delivers.

  • http://twitter.com/Notup2it4life Shannen

    I am not a fan of Colton’s music, but like others have pointed out I do think he has the potential to cross into mainstream while still having his genre as Christian music. Especially with popular CCM artists like Britt Nicole, Toby Mac and Chris Tomlin topping the billboard charts and signing to mainstream record labels. And congrats to Colton for performing at Alive music festival. As a new artist that is definitely going to get him a lot of exposure.

  • http://twitter.com/RonnieDRocks Ronnie D

     A #1 album is a #1 album

    I don’t think having a #1 album on the Christian chart is the same as having  it on the Billboard 200. Either way I do wish him the best success, even if it’s only in his niche.

  • Michael Jenkins

    This is huge for him, very excited. The album is amazing!

  • girlygirltoo

    true, but he also had the advantage of having built a fanbase through Idol, which balances things out in that area :)

  • girlygirltoo

    Kris performed at the Alive festival in 2010 (I think). It’s not a festival that will get Colton much exposure outside of the CCM genre, but since that is his niche it could give him a nice boost. I think that tour with Third Day might be a bigger help, though :)

  • http://twitter.com/RonnieDRocks Ronnie D

    “Chris Tomlin: #1 Billboard 200, just recently
    TobyMac: #1 Billboard 200 last September (and September’s a decently hard month)
    LeCrae: #3 BB 200, also last September
    David Crowder Band: #2 on the BB 200 in January 2012
    Kari Jobe: top 10 on the BB 200 in late January 2012
    Casting Crowns: #2 BB 200 in October 2011 (and the group’s 4th top 10 BB 200 album)”

    I don’t think I have heard any of the bands you just mentioned, and I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about who is popular/relevant and who is not. Not saying I’m a know it all, I just haven’t heard of those artists. If they are Christian artists, then maybe they are only relevent in their niche audience, which is why I don’t know of them.

  • http://twitter.com/RonnieDRocks Ronnie D

    Never heard of Skillet, but having roots in CCM, then having broader success  when “crossing over” proves my point. This is a nice thing that he accomplished, but on a broader scale it isn’t really relevant.

  • 1rollbounce2

    I never liked him on the show but knew he could have some success.  As I recall, it was the skinny pants on a skinny man and being critical is easy…anyway, good for him.

    Where there’s an Idol, there’s a record to be broken (or created).

  • http://twitter.com/eilonwya10 Eilonwy

    Huh? Any artist who has a niche other than CHR will have “broader success” if their music crosses out of their home genres. This is true for decent-sized genres like alt-rock, country, and UAC, as well as for tiny ones like CCM.

    The point of building a career in a niche genre is not to somehow post bigger numbers than one would get from having a CHR hit or two, or to somehow be better-known than current pop stars. It’s to develop a solid, long-lasting base of fans whose interest in one’s musical vision goes beyond “this year’s flava.” 

    Then if fashions in pop music roll around to encompassing one’s musical style, it’s also possible to have some crossover success. We had a long wave of urban hip-hop artists crossing into CHR, and now we’re having a wave of alt-rock/AAA bands crossing into CHR. As CHR styles churn, the next crossover fashion could be country, jazz, Latin… who knows. Point is, the artists who have built careers in these niche genres have somewhere to go home to — and still make a solid living — when the pop fad for their style inevitably fades.

    One of the reasons I dislike running quantitative comparisons between Idols in different genres is that these comparisons obscure the reality that in a niche genre, relevance in that niche is the primary goal, and crossover is a secondary goal that depends on waiting for the right pop fad.

  • Niall

    His music isn’t my thing but Colton’s gameplan (using AI as a springboard into Christian music), has succeeded. He’s exactly where he wanted to be.

  • chillj

    Holy cow, who knew?

  • Tera2

    That’s not bad for sales this days for someone who didnt finish in top 4.  Good for Colton doing his thing in the Christian route.  I like Colton’s melodic pop-rock vibe.  He was one of my favorites last season along with Deandre, Jessica, Erika and Hollie.

  • sdmama

    I knew he would be marketable. He always had style and left strong impression. I was a bit surprised he wanted to do Christian music, but the plan worked wonderfully. Congratulations! It is wonderful.  

    I think it is much better to do 22k and debut #1 on some chart than selling 50k and debut at #80 on bigger a chart. Probably he would have more loyal fans that way. He also chose this genre because he wanted to, not because he was trying to be a big fish in a small pond. 

    Jimmy was right: Season 11 is shaping up to be Phillip vs Colton, in a strange way :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000572006880 Matthew Stump Sr.

    I guess they missed the fact that it is #15 on Billboards 200. That is a big deal and an amazing accomplishment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000572006880 Matthew Stump Sr.

    The NFL even used Skillet’s song Hero. CCM music is bigger than you think. You do know that #1 only sold 106K units and is well known. Colton will be moving on up. Because you don’t listen to it or like it doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant. This is a major accomplishment for someone who didn’t win AI and is a Christian artist.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PVEFG2TOUIXSROKUSO2O2DOWWE Taylor

    Wow, Good for Colton!
    This is the kind of music he has always wanted to do and Idol gave him a nice stepping stone to help him start his career off with a bang.

  • tigervixxxen

    There are many artists (and Idols) who gladly enjoy the benefit of having a #1 album or single on a niche chart be it dance, rock or Christian. Of course the overall charts are most important and I know there are a lot of different BB charts but good for Colton getting that #1 and a good start to his career.

    Since other Christian artists are in the discussion I should point out that Red released an album this week and should debut top 5 or 10. They are Christian hard rock so you could say they are in two different niches. Although they’ll never get CHR play they do get mainstream active rock play.

  • http://twitter.com/bilolobi Namarinad

    happy for Colton, congrats to him
    happy also that American idol is producing stars, yes i said it lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505745811 Charlene Israel

    Good Morning America has used Mandisa’s song, “Good Morning” as their theme!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505745811 Charlene Israel

    Several NBA and NFL players are huge fans of Lecrae – he’s also performed twice on BET.
    Switchfoot’s music has been featured in Disney films
    TobyMac has also had huge success in secular and Christian circles
    Colton will do well too!

  • http://MJO judes

    This is wonderful for Colton. As an Australian I am so glad Colton went the Christian music route as it is readily available here on i-Tunes & in Christian stores.Being No. 1 on the Christian charts is still a big deal & Idol has helped him to do that. Here in Australia all the Christian bands mentioned are known here & Chris Tomlin is a big seller here as well.
    I have his album & think it is great for a 1st album. He has been able to do the music he wants to, unlike a lot of Idols 1st albums who have been signed to large labels in the past.