Kelly may be owned to the pit-hairs, but her first single is No. 1. Of course, wouldn’t it have been a bigger surprise if it hadn’t been?:
- “American Idol” champion Kelly Clarkson didn’t have to wait long to parlay her television fame into record-setting gold on the pop charts.
The bubbly 20-year-old who wowed a national TV audience on the Fox network’s summer reality series shot to No. 1 on the latest Hot 100 singles chart from Nielsen SoundScan with “A Moment Like This,” the song she performed on the final episode of the show.
The single, paired with the song “Before Your Love” on a double-A-side record, rose from the No. 52 spot after going on sale in stores last week, marking the biggest leap to No. 1 in the history of the Hot 100, her label, RCA Records, said on Wednesday.
Clarkson’s debut, selling 236,000 copies its first week in stores, grabbed the top spot away from the song “Dilemma” from hip-hop star Nelly. That song, which also featured vocals from Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child, spent seven weeks at No. 1.
Because relatively few songs are released commercially as singles anymore, most hits depend on broadcast exposure to achieve a place on the singles charts, whose rankings are based on a combination of radio airplay and retail sales.
“We’re in uncharted territory,” said Geoff Mayfield of Billboard magazine, which publishes the charts. “It’s unusual to have a retail single to begin with, and it’s even more unusual to have one sell decent numbers.”
Mayfield said Clarkson’s single was the first to sell more than 200,000 copies since 1999.
Clarkson, a former cocktail waitress from Burleson, Texas, landed her recording contract with RCA as the winning contestant on “American Idol: The Search for a Superstar,” capping a nationwide talent search that turned the show into a summertime TV sensation.
She embarks — along with runner-up Justin Guarini and the eight other finalists from the show — on a 27-city U.S. arena tour that opens Oct. 8 in San Diego and winds up Nov. 20 in Seattle.
Much more on Kelly and Idol starting here.