On July 4, an American Idol alum made history since the show’s inception 11 seasons ago. Kelly Clarkson, the show’s inaugural winner, now holds the title of the alum with the best selling single. On the Fourth of July, Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” surpassed Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” as the best selling single from an Idol alum, according to Nielsen Sound Scan. “Stronger” has sold 3,510,000 singles as of today, while “Before He Cheats” has sold 3,509,000 copies since its release in 2006.
“Stronger” is also Clarkson’s longest #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. According to Billboard, “Before He Cheats” peaked at No. 8 on the Hot 100 and was on the chart for 64 weeks. Only five songs in the 54-year history of this survey have had longer runs. On Hot Country Songs, “Before He Cheats” was No. 1 for five weeks in November-December 2006. Before “Stronger” surpassed “Before He Cheats,” it had to first pass “No Air” by Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown, which has now sold 3,437,000 copies to date.
Underwood, however, is still ahead in total domestic album sales. Proving Simon Cowell’s prediction back in Season 4, Underwood has sold 13,205,000 albums to date and Clarkson is close behind with 11,664,000. Any Idol fan might remember his bold prediction during Billboard week. Cowell said, “Not only will you win this show, you will sell more records than any other previous Idol winner.”
Billboard points out that if you count digital downloads of singles, Clarkson wins the race with 24,100,000 copies sold, while Underwood’s sales total 22,535,000 digital songs. If this proves anything, it only furthers the notion that these two beautiful and talented ladies are the competition’s most successful and possibly best alums. At least these two give credibility to winning the show and taking on the crown. There is room for both of these women in the industry and we predict that this isn’t the end of their successes!
Clarkson can be seen on ABC’s Duets, which airs Thursday night at 8/7c. She is also touring select cities this summer with The Fray. Underwood just returned to the US after taking her Blown Away hits to the UK and Australia. She’s gearing for her Blown Away tour which kicks off this fall!