The official 1st week number’s for Scotty McCreery’s album, Clear as Day are in. Not only did the Idol winner’s debut hit #1 and sell 197k, but he broke records! Read more at Billboard
“American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery makes history as his debut album, “Clear as Day, ” bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with 197, 000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
McCreery is the first country act to debut at No. 1 with their first studio album, and at 18-years old, the youngest man to open at the top of the chart with their debut release.
Previously, the youngest male to bow at No. 1 with their premiere album was Omarion, who was 20 when “O” started at No. 1 in 2005.
Ruben Studdard was the last “Idol” champ to start their career with a No. 1 album, when his “Soulful” entered the tally dated Dec. 27, 2003, with 417, 000 sold. Kelly Clarkson, the original “Idol” champ, also bowed at No. 1, with “Thankful” on May 3, 2003 (297, 000).
“Clear as Day” also marks the biggest debut sales week of any “Idol” winner’s first album since 2008, when David Cook’s self-titled set started with 280, 000 at No. 3. Kris Allen saw his eponymous 2009 debut launch with 80, 000 (No. 11) and in 2010, Lee DeWyze’s “Live It Up” arrived with 39, 000 (No. 19).
Congratulations to Scotty McCreery, and THANK YOU for bringing glory back to the battered Idol franchise! AI needed a winner who could move some units to prove the aging show’s continued relevance.
UPDATE: Idol Chatter reports
UMG had a very clear strategy to keep Lauren and Scotty fresh in the minds of consumers. Looks like their plans worked!
“My head is just spinning, ” Scotty says. “It started out kind of low: They said 100, 000 maybe. Then every day I saw the numbers climbing. It’s wild: It wasn’t a year ago that I was a normal cat, and now I’m number one on Billboard. It’s insane, it really is.”
“This is an incredible accomplishment, frankly, when you look at where he is in the marketplace as a 17-year-old country singer who no one even had heard of 10 months ago, ” says Interscope Records head of sales Gary Kelly, who says the Universal Music Group initially projected 150, 000 first-week sales for the title.
“Our goal with the Walmart EPs was to get something into the marketplace quickly on the heels of the finale, ” Kelly says. “Often, what happens is that the finale takes place in May. Then the artist goes on tour and you don’t actually hear from them until November or December. Between the iTunes campaign that we ran throughout the season and the physical goods going into Walmart, it kept Scotty — and even Lauren Alaina — very active in front of the consumers.”
Press Release from UMG announcing Scotty’s #1
Scotty McCreery’s Clear As Day Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard Top 200
Becomes Youngest Male to Ever Debut at Top of All-Genre Chart with First Album
NASHVILLE, TN – Mercury Nashville/19 Recordings/Interscope artist Scotty McCreery debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and Top Country Albums charts with Clear As Day, making him the youngest male in history to open at the top of the all-genre chart with a debut release. This is also the highest first-week album sales of any solo country artist in 2011.
With first-week sales totaling 196, 739, he is the first new country artist this year to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. He has the second-highest debut week for a new artist in all genres in 2011, behind rapper J.Cole.
He is the first American Idol winner in eight years to land his debut album atop the Billboard 200 and the first country male singer from the show to do so. This is the first debut by a new country artist to top 100, 000 in first-week sales since Carrie Underwood’s in 2005.
“My hopes were just to go out there and have fun and let people know that the album was out there. Everybody hopes for the number one, but you never really expect it. To see it up there is pretty incredible, ” says Scotty, who turned 18 on Sunday. “It’s a very good birthday present! I can’t think of anything to top it!”
Scotty appeared on Today, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Ellen during release week, while the Oct. 3 premiere of GAC’s Introducing: Scotty McCreery earned high ratings.
An estimated 15, 000 people attended his Album Release Party Homecoming Concert and Birthday Celebration that was held at the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek in Raleigh, N.C. He was presented with a gold record by Mercury Nashville and Interscope staffers during the event to celebrate achieving a gold certification in digital sales for “I Love You This Big.”
“We are proud to be part of this project, ” says Luke Lewis, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville, which includes Mercury Nashville. “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer young man.”
Says Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M, “It’s rare that someone with a truly honest voice has a first album that debuts at number one. It’s an exciting thing to be a part of.”
In May, Scotty won Season Ten of American Idol, becoming the youngest male winner in the show’s history. A record-breaking 122.4 million votes were cast for the finale. The final show garnered 29.3 million viewers and 38.6 million people tuned in to see the winner’s name announced.
He continues the success that began with Season One winner Kelly Clarkson, who premiered at No. 1 in 2003. For ten seasons, American Idol winners and finalists have steadily topped the Billboard charts.
“What a fantastic few days this has been for Scotty, ” says Simon Fuller, creator and executive producer of American Idol and CEO/Founder of XIX Entertainment. “He turned 18 on Sunday and now he has the number one-selling album in America, an incredible achievement for someone so young. Scotty is a true talent; he will stand the test of time and I am honored to be helping guide his career.”
People magazine says, “From the moment the American Idol finalists first squared off last season, it was as clear as his baby blues that Scotty McCreery was a natural-born country star. After taking the title in May, the North Carolina native, who turns 18 on Oct. 9, brings his old soul, easy charm and—his killer weapon—that preternaturally deep voice to winning debut. Producer Mark Bright—whose credits include another American Idol, Carrie Underwood—wisely plays up McCreery’s traditional sensibility and rounds up some good tunes.”
Scotty will sing the national anthem at Game One of the World Series on Oct. 19.