Scotty McCreery sells 197,000 copies in first week: How does he stack up against other 'Idol' winners?


Apparently, you love him this big!

Scotty McCreery’s debut disc Clear As Day debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 this week, selling 197,000 copies in its first week.

That makes McCreery, 18, the first American Idol winner to top the chart since Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard’s Soulful opened at number one back in 2003. It also provides the Idol franchise a much-needed success story.

McCreery’s strong sales week improves greatly upon the 39,000 debut tally that Lee Dewyze’s Live It Up notched last year, as well as the 80,000 first week sales of Kris Allen’s self-titled 2009 offering.

Of course, McCreery didn’t sell as many albums as past winners Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson, but considering the current state of the record industry, the fact that David Cook and Jordin Sparks’ sophomore albums both recently floundered, and the musical irrelevance of Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks these days, Idol was in dire need of a fresh star, and it looks like it’s got one with McCreery.

Just for reference, here’s how the ten Idol winners have fared in their first post-Idol album releases:

Kelly Clarkson, Thankful – 297,000 copies (2,747,000 total)
Ruben Studdard, Ruben Studdard – 400,000 (1,791,000)
Fantasia Barrino, Free Yourself – 240,000 (1,821,000)
Carrie Underwood, Some Hearts – 315,000 (7,131,000)
Taylor Hicks, Taylor Hicks – 298,000 (705,000)
Jordin Sparks, Jordin Sparks – 119,000 (1,045,000)
David Cook, David Cook – 280,000 (1,325,000)
Kris Allen, Kris Allen – 80,000 (328,000)
Lee DeWyze, Live It Up – 39,000 (168,000)
Scotty McCreery, Clear As Day – 197,000

McCreery also scored himself a few records: He became the youngest solo male artist to ever top the Billboard 200, as well as the first country act to have its first album debut in first place.

This week’s Top 10 Albums:
1. Scotty McCreery, Clear As Day – 197,000
2. Adele, 21 – 112,000
3. Tony Bennett, Duets II – 71,000
4. Lady Antebellum, Own the Night – 58,000
5. J. Cole, Cole’s World: the Sideline Story – 54,000
6. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter IV – 53,000
7. Feist, Metals – 38,000
8. Rodney Atkins, Take A Back Road – 35,000
9. Jack’s Mannequin, People and Things – 31,000
10. Blink-182, Neighborhoods – 31,000

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Comments (71 total) Add your comment
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  • Andrew

    It probably helped that most teenage girls consider him to be a sex symbol. They all voted for him like crazy this year because of his looks. They should have instead voted for more talented singers like Pia Toscano and James Durbin.

    • LOL

      He’ll be slingin’ fries at McDonald’s in 2013.

      • PN

        Oh, he won’t even be doing that–he’ll be peforming and recording albums from now on. You’re just saying that because you don’t like his music.

      • Banks

        He won’t work at McD’s. He’ll go to college and have a decent life working in an office park somewhere. Country music will have no use for him after this album. If McCreery walked into a Nashville record company, he would have been told “no thanks” in 5 minutes. He won “Idol,” so they’ll make money off him and then toss him aside.

    • RCB

      James, maybe. Pia, hell to the no!

    • iHeart

      Speaking of which why isn’t James signed yet?

      • Andrew

        James is signed to Wind-up Records. It was announced a while ago.

      • PN

        Maybe he did it in a low key manner without going to national media about it. I didn’t know about it until this post.

  • Deedo

    McCreery is a novelty act. It’s cool if he makes his money now, but I wouldn’t expect the act to last long term.

    • S.

      I disagree – he is a country artist and country sells records. If managed correctly, he could be around for a long time.

      • Matt Bjorke

        @Deedo, S. is correct. This is why I said and will continue to say that he’ll do well as long as he stays strong to the country genre. Fans who don’t like country think he’s a Novelty. but he’s no novelty and while his album could’ve been ‘better,’ it’s a strong mainstream country album and sets him up nicely for a good career.

      • Yawn…

        He’s not a novelty act—but country radio will probably treat him as though he is. That’s the real issue here—and believe me, country radio is full of @ssholes who just love the status quo. “Groundbreaking” or “different” are very scary terms to program directors at radio.

      • CC

        I don’t know if “novelty” is the right word, but as a country fan myself, I don’t see Scotty lasting for the long haul. There is nothing original about him at this point. He sounds like a poor man’s Josh Turner or a Randy Travis retread. That could change, of course, but this album doesn’t show him off to be anything special.

  • Zaza

    The women who have won idol are the only ones to come out out and be bonified legitimate music stars and it proves that with both the commercial and critical success they have received. (Specifically Kelly, and Carrie, and while Fantasia isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, her peformances and voice have industry recognition as well).

    I also liked David Cook, but ever since idol has gone this “serious”artist route, and just because you can play an instrument but can’t sing a lick, it’s started to bore me. (Again, I don’t include David Cook he’s awesome even though his new album flopped)

    • S.

      I like David Cook also, but his post idol music has been bland and forgettable. I know I’m in the minority, but Lee Dewyze has put out good post-idol music and should get a second look (unlike Cook’s I actually remember Lee’s songs enough to hum them etc. – I listened to Cook’s latest every day for a week and still can’t remember any of the songs).

      • PN

        Cook’s music is more midtempo rock with a Goo Goo Dolls kind of feel. I think they wanted people in the same vein as John Mayer, as they did with Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze, but John still gets airplay and those two don’t.

    • Matt Bjorke

      The “Flop” of David Cook’s album is because unless he has a hooky song that catches at AC and Pop, rock music doesn’t do all too well in synth and R&B lead pop charts these days.

      • Banks

        Well said, Matt. No guest rapper = no airplay. “This Loud Morning” is a good CD. It deserves to be heard.

      • dude

        I believe David Cook’s flop was because he stopped making music for 4 years, that’s too much. Artists sell way less more if ever that happens, which is rare


        FLOP!!!! He laid a big ole turd with This Loud Morning. He was always overrated – IMO.

    • dlauthor

      How exactly does one bonify a music star?

  • Joe

    McCreery is going to be HUGE…

  • Anna

    Scotty beat Lee DeWyze total sales in one week. Yikes! It figures. Worst season, worst numbers.

    • Ben

      The bar was set pretty low for sales after DeWyze. Actually, DeWyze’s CD is pretty good, but it is not the least bit radio friendly. Now that McCreery has sold well, Idol will probably look for the most generic singers it can find. The days of risk-takers like David Cook and Adam Lambert are probably over.

      • daphne

        IMO the years of Adam have just begun. His second album, which he is producing, will probably be bigger than his first, unlike Cook’s (which was oh so disappointing.)

        Anyway at least wait to see what he does post-idol.

      • Ben

        I have no doubt that Adam will continue to be successful, and I’m not ready to count David out just yet. I meant that creative contestants like them will not be chosen for Idol anymore now that the producers have found that they can sell more records with bland, middle-of-the-road singers.

  • joy

    for those who keep saing all the young votes is why scotty won…you know, there are many many more girls out there and they could have for others just vas much but they didn’t and it’s not just young girls who like him. grandmas, middle=aged couples also like him.he’s refreshing.

    • Troy

      It will be a shame if AI becomes the go-to place for “grandma” music. People voted for Scotty McCreery because he sang country — they didn’t care whether or not he did it well. That sucks. There are much better country singers out there.

      • dude

        perfectly said Troy. I have always wanted to find a site where people tell it as it is. Can’t be said this anything more sincere than here, because everywhere else everybody thinks he is a good kid with morales and stuff, they will treat him with gloves and will defend him to no end. But talking about the music, he blows, totally pale, safest contestant to ever win. Turns idol into a popularity contest even clearer, once again.

  • Torrence5

    Idol desperately needed Scotty to be a hit in sales & air play. Idol had become irrelevant in the music industry for the past several seasons. Whether Scotty gives Idol a boost in the long run, at least it shows that an Idol winner can still be a player in the music field if he/she has any real talent. Idol is still good tv, but mayber Scotty will make it musically relevant again………. or not.

  • opus

    GO SCOTTY!!! Ignore the naysayers. So proud of your achievement!

    • thomasbond

      Hi I think Scotty has a little bit of many country singers and it comes across in his songs. The songs are a good choice so far.

  • JJ

    So Scotty has already sold more albums than Lee DeWyze. For anyone who tried to say Lee’s album wasn’t a flop I think you better double check your thoughts.

  • R

    Does this include copies that were purchased and downloaded on itunes or amazon, or just actual CD’s that were purchased?

  • jessie

    i just don’t know why people can’t just be happy for once that a person had achieved this much? i wonder, if scotty’s your kid or brother or friend or fave idol and did this much, wouldn’t you be proud of his accomplishment, at this young age, with not much experience when it comes to music industry…novelty or not, he did very well for a young artist, who is just starting to break through a music genre whose people have been resistant to him since day 1 because he’s from American Idol, he did not go through the traditional way of becoming a country music artist, he’s just a clone of so and so (which I think the artists did not mind because Scotty put their name again on the charts and help in a way in sales performance since non-country fans “discovered” their music)…like it or not, he had accomplished much at his age, that you and i may not have done…yet….

  • DC

    does it really matter if teen girls voted for him or not. we’re looking at record sales…as long as they’re selling, they’re selling and you’re a success….no matter who’s buying.

  • NonEntity

    It does matter if teen girls on the whole are buying this. It means their bad taste in music will be pushed splashed all over our genuine musical culture by those who don’t care about quality, only dollar signs. Teens like candy not vegetables and the same goes for their musical preferences.

  • Mandee

    Yay for Jacks Mannequin!

    If you don’t know of JM, I strongly reccomend starting with Dark Blue.

    • Kristin

      Love them!

  • kara

    He put out a really solid album so his sales are well-deserved. And I don’t think teenage girls are the cause of it. He just simply appeals to all ages. (middle-ages women, grandmas, etc.)

    • J B

      People are just jealous that they can’t or want go out and accomplish what Scotty has done. They are ashamed to mention God, but Scotty is not.

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