Idol Artists Continue To Dominate Album Charts Worldwide

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —

American Idol stars Carrie Underwood, Bo Bice and Kelly
Clarkson ruled the charts with three of the top ten spots on Billboard's Top 200 album chart the week before Christmas, historically one of the best selling weeks of the year for the music industry. In addition, American Idol and Pop Idol artists, Clarkson and Will Young, also took two of the top 15 spots in the weekly sales chart in the United Kingdom. The Idol franchise was created by 19 Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CKX, Inc. Idol artists in the U.S. and U.K. are signed to recording agreements with 19 Recordings, also a wholly-owned subsidiary of CKX.

"Some Hearts," the debut album by American Idol 4 winner Carrie Underwood, rose from Number 5 to Number 2 on the chart with more than 271,000 units sold for the week. "Some Hearts" was certified platinum with over one million albums sold within just five weeks of its November 15, 2005 release beginning with a record-setting 314,000 units in its first week and is expected to reach 1.5 Million copies by January 1. Her single "Inside Your Heaven/Independence Day” won the Billboard Award for Top-Selling Hot 100 Song of the Year.

American Idol 4 finalist Bo Bice's debut album, "The Real Thing," entered the chart at Number 4, with more than 226,000 albums sold. In addition, Bice's single "Inside Your Heaven/Vehicle" was number three on the Billboard Singles Chart.

American Idol 1 winner Kelly Clarkson's most recent album "Breakaway" moved back into the Top 10 to Number 8 with more than 180,000 units sold for the week. "Breakaway" has remained in the Top 20 since its release on November 30, 2004 for a total of for 55 consecutive weeks and has been certified quadruple platinum in the United States with over 4 million units sold and well over 7 million copies sold worldwide.

Breakaway is poised to become the year’s third best-selling album. It contains four No. 1 singles including “Since U Been Gone,” which has sold over one million digital downloads and is nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in the 48th annual Grammy Awards—just as Breakaway is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album.

In the United Kingdom, Clarkson's "Breakaway" album was the number eight selling album for the week, and Pop Idol 1 winner Will Young's album, "Keep On" rose to number 12 on the U.K. chart, with over 300,000 units sold to date in the U.K. alone.

American Idol 3 winner Fantasia is approaching the double platinum mark with her debut album "Free Yourself" and American Idol 2 runner-up Clay Aiken's Christmas album, "Merry Christmas With Love" recently soared past the million unit mark. Aiken is expected to release a new album this spring.

"This success is a true testament to the power of Idol fans and people power worldwide," said Simon Fuller, creator and executive producer of American Idol. "Carrie, Bo and Kelly are prime examples of the impact of the Idol format, having been discovered by the American public, taken from obscurity and made into true superstars. I am proud to have created a format which has captured the imagination of music fans around the world and which can launch the careers of so many talented young singers. We are looking forward very much to the start of American Idol's 5th season in January"

The success of Idol artists is not limited to the United States and the United Kingdom. Idol continues to produce best selling artists in countries around the world where a local version of the format is run. In France, the most recent winner, Myriam, and runner-up Pierrick have both reached the top five in sales for their recent albums and previous runner up, Amele, has sold close to 500,000 units. In Australia, the most recent Idol winner Kate DeAraugo's single reached Number 1 on the local singles chart and remains the third best selling single in the country. The first Australian Idol winner Shannon Noll's second album has been certified double Platinum. In Canada, the latest winner Melissa O'Neil recently reached Number 1 on the local radio charts with her single "Alive." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen