American Idol's Underwood Becomes Highest Debuting New Artist In Country Genre

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — American Idol winner Carrie Underwood made history when her debut 19 Recordings/Arista Records album, Some Hearts, moved more than 314,000 units in its first week of release, making her the highest debuting new artist in the country genre since SoundScan began. She also earned the distinction of selling more units than any other debut female American Idol star to date. In addition, her album is the highest charting album for a debut artist in 2005.

The sales numbers easily put Some Hearts at the top of Billboard's Top Country Albums Chart, with an overall ranking of Number 2 on the Billboard 200 which ranks albums of all genres.

Underwood's sales were propelled by two hit singles at separate radio formats. "Jesus, Take The Wheel" is currently sitting at 14 Bullet on the Billboard Monitor Country chart and is gaining momentum more quickly than any other record at the format. The track made chart history earlier this fall by becoming the first single by a new artist to debut inside the Top 40 on the country charts since BDS monitoring started in 1990. On the pop side, the title track "Some Hearts," which shipped to radio only weeks ago, is quickly climbing the Billboard Monitor Pop charts, giving Underwood exposure on country and pop radio formats out of the box, a rarity in today's music business and virtually unheard of for a new artist. — Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen