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Former 'Idol 5' finalist Chris Daughtry tops charts after nine weeks


By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 01/25/2007 

It took him nine weeks and more than one million album sales to get there, but Chris Daughtry finally has a No. 1 album.  "Daughtry," the former American Idol 5 finalist's debut album, sold 65,000 copies in the U.S. over the last week, a performance that placed it atop the week's Billboard Top 200 album sales chart.

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Daughtry's margin over the week's No. 2 album, Music World's Dreamgirls soundtrack featuring former Idol 3 finalist Jennifer Hudson, is the slimmest ever between the top two titles on The Billboard 200 -- a miniscule Ruben/Clay-like 130 copies. 

Daughtry's ascension to the top of the charts has been an unusual one.  Accompanied by his band -- dubbed simply Daughtry -- the former Idol finalist released his RCA debut effort on November 21, 2006.  The album sold approximately 304,000 copies in its first week, placing it second on The Billboard 200 behind only "Kingdom Come," a new Jay-Z album that was also released the same week as "Daughtry."

The debut also scored Daughtry second place in another aspect -- he had the second-highest first week sales of any Idol singer who did not win the competition.  Only Clay Aiken's "Measure of a Man" debut album, which sold more than 613,000 copies in its first week of release in October 2003, sold more copies in its initial week of release.

Despite finishing fourth behind eventual Idol 5 winner Taylor Hicks, Daughtry's first week album sales were also better than what Hicks' self-titled debut effort (released six weeks later in December 12, 2006) sold in its first week. 

"Daughtry" went platinum on December 21, 2006, selling more than one million copies in a month without being No. 1 on The Billboard 200 at any point during that stretch.   

Ironically, while "Daughtry" never ranked lower than No. 11 throughout the highly competitive pre-holiday season album sales period, it is topping the weekly album sales chart during what Billboard magazine described as "another dire week at music retail."  Last week marked was the third week in a row that the No. 1 Billboard Top 200 album has sold less than 100,000 copies.  The last time that happened was in May and June 1991, when Daughtry was only 11 years old.


(Photo credit Fox)


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