"Carnival Ride," the American Idolfourth-season champ's second album, is the first Underwood album to debut at No. 1 on The Billboard 200. "Some Hearts," her 2005 debut album, sold 315,000 units and peaked at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on Top Country Album chart after its November 15, 2005 release. However since then, the album has gone on to sell nearly 6 million copies and remained in The Billboard 200 rankings for over 100 weeks.
Due to "Carnival Ride's" first-week success, Underwood became the first former Idol champ to post a debut sales week of more than 500,000 copies and was also the first to have his or her second album outsell their debut, according to Daily Variety. (American Idol 2 runner-up Clay Aiken, remains Idol's all-time debut week sales champ. "Measure of a Man," his 2003 debut album, sold 613,000 copies in its first week of release.)
"Carnival Ride's" first week sales performance is the biggest Idol-related album debut since original Idol champ Kelly Clarksonmoved 291,000 copies of her third album "My December," which made its debut at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 when it was released in July.
In addition, "Carnival Ride" had the best sales week for a female solo country artist since Shania Twain's "Greatest Hits" started with 530,000 in November 2004. "Carnival Ride" was also the highest-selling album for a female artist on The Billboard 200 since Beyonce's September 2006 "B'Day," which moved 541,000 in its first week of release.
The first single from "Carnival Ride" -- "So Small" -- was released on July 31 and currently sits at No. 3 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, its peak position.
"Some Hearts" currently ranks at No. 60 on The Billboard 200. Although it was released two years ago, "Some Hearts" still ranks as 2007's top selling country album (a distinction that will likely end when "Carnival Ride" overtakes it in several weeks) and has sold 1.3 million copies so far this year.