American Idol: Chayce Beckham Hits No. 1, Caleb Kennedy Charts Despite Controversy

AMERICAN IDOL - "417 (Coldplay Songbook & MotherÕs Day Dedication)" Ð "American Idol" is back with a live coast-to-coast episode as the top seven contestants perform two songs each on SUNDAY, MAY 9 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Eric McCandless) CHAYCE BECKHAM

American Idol Top 3 Finalist Chayce Beckham Charts at No 1 on iTunes

American Idol Top 3 finalist Chayce Beckham spent most of the week at No. 1 on iTunes with his winners single “23”. Finally, “Astronaut in the Ocean” by Masked Wolf knocked the song down to the No. 2 spot after he performed it on Monday’s The Voice performance show (May 17).  

All of the American Idol Top 7 recorded winners singles with prominent producers including Tricky Stewart, Ian Fitchuk, and Ross Copperman.

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However, Chayce is the only Top 4 contestant to release a song that he wrote. Ross Copperman (Darius Rucker, Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley) produced “23” in which Chayce bared his soul, telling the deeply personal story of his battle with alcohol and drug addiction. His authentic sound and willingness to be honest are qualities that appeal to his growing fan base.

Chart News: Monday Morning Mediabase 05/17/2021

Although she was eliminated in 4th place, teen rocker Casey Bishop charted behind Chayce with her original song “Love Me, Leave Me.” Written by by Chris Braide, Casey received a producers credit along with Ian Fitchuk (Kacey Musgraves, Leon Bridges, Harry Styles and Little Big Town). On Monday (May 17), she sat at No. 13 behind Chayce on the iTunes chart.

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Also on Monday, the morning after the Top 4 performed previews of their respective singles, Grace Kinstler’s “Love Someone” sat at No. 18,  while “Never be Alone” by Willie Spence charted at No 31. It’s worth noting that streaming has overcome downloading. The iTunes chart, which measures only downloads, is not as potent a barometer of success these days. Next week, Billboard will release streaming chart numbers, and we’ll see if the American Idol winners singles made any impact there.

Caleb Kennedy Charts in spite of (or because of?) Major Controversy


But the big chart news is Caleb Kennedy. He recorded a self-penned winners single, “Raised on Dirt” produced by Ross Copperman. But  before the song was released and ahead of the semi-final, a video surfaced of Caleb sitting next to a man wearing what looked like a K*K*K hood. American Idol swiftly disqualified him from competition. Not only did Idol axe Caleb from the show, but they also deleted all of his performance videos from their Youtube page. It’s as if Caleb never existed!  Needless to say “Raised on Dirt” will never see the light of day.

But has that stopped the young singer from becoming a chart success? Very much like The Voice alum, Morgan Wallen, who continued to sell and stream music after he got caught on film using a racial epithet and he was banned from radio, touring and awards shows, fans are downloading and streaming a four song EP that Caleb released back in March. 

Caleb Kennedy’s self-titled EP is currently at No. 2  on the iTunes country chart and No. 5 on the all genre chart behind Nicki Minaj and the Black Crowes.  The EP had previously climbed to No. 4 in country, and  N0. 15 all genres when Caleb first released it in March. It’s amazing what controversy can do for sales. 

About mj santilli 34243 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!