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Thread: Top 100 'American Idol' Hits of All Time (Billboard article)

  1. #1
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    Top 100 'American Idol' Hits of All Time (Billboard article)

    Top 100 'American Idol' Hits of All Time

    By Fred Bronson, Los Angeles | March 05, 2013 3:58 PM EST



    A countdown of "American Idol" alums' biggest Hot 100 hits ever - and the untold stories behind the songs.

    When “American Idol” premiered on Fox-TV on June 11, 2002, it was far from certain that the “Search for a Superstar” (the show’s subtitle) was going to produce one. Music critics didn’t give the series much credibility and radio did not go out of its way to play songs by “Idol” finalists. The industry should have known better, based on the success of “Pop Idol” in the United Kingdom. The first of that show’s two seasons did produce two superstars, in Will Young and Gareth Gates. Young’s first record, “Anything Is Possible” / “Evergreen,” became the fastest-selling single in U.K. history and is the best-selling single of the 21st century. Gates’ first release, a remake of “Unchained Melody,” debuted at No. 1 on the official U.K. singles chart and was certified double platinum. The stage was set for similar success in America but there was no guarantee.

    Then along came Kelly Clarkson, though the singer from Burleson, Texas, was not an obvious winner in the early days of season one of “American Idol.” Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe says, “Justin Guarini and Tamyra Gray, we all said right from the beginning, those two. Tamyra was going to win. Kelly didn’t come through. The only thing that stood out was her humor. It was only when we got into the top 10 that all of a sudden, [when Kelly sang] people would stand there open-mouthed.”

    Clarkson demonstrated her sense of humor by switching places with Randy Jackson during her audition, but later, when she walked out on the set for the first time, Jackson leaned over to Paula Abdul and said “Who is that? Who is she??” Debra Byrd, vocal coach on “Idol” from season one to the beginning of season 11, explains, “They didn’t remember her. Kelly later said that was her fault. She had changed her look and her hair. But she just wasn’t on their radar.”

    Eleven years later, Clarkson is still very much on the radar, dominating the list of “Idol’s” top 100 songs on the Hot 100. She has 18 songs in the top 100, including six in the top 10, two of which rank No. 1 and No. 2.

    Clarkson isn’t the only “Idol” to become a superstar. When the top 11 of season four were assigned the theme, “Billboard’s number one hits,” Carrie Underwood sang Heart’s “Alone.” After her performance, Simon Cowell made a bold prediction: “Not only will you win this show, you will sell more records than any other previous Idol winner.” Turns out, he was right. (“I’m sure he must love that,” Underwood laughs). Underwood is the best-selling Idol in the U.S. (Clarkson is tops internationally) and has more songs on the Idol 100 than anyone, with 20.

    The success of “Idol” is even bigger than Clarkson and Underwood. The franchise has produced 379 No. 1s to date, counting all national and domestic charts compiled by Billboard. So far, 68 finalists from the first 11 seasons have appeared on the Billboard charts.

    To coincide with the first live shows of season 12, here are the top 100 songs by Idols based on chart performance on the Hot 100, with the stories behind the songs, many of them being told for the first time.

    ... top 100 list ...

    Link: Top 100 'American Idol' Hits of All Time | Billboard

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    Cool snippets for each song. I liked these two:

    39. "Good Girl" - Carrie Underwood
    Hot 100 Peak: No. 18 (2012)

    Underwood was in Los Angeles when she met with Ashley Gorley and Chris DeStefano for a writing session. Gorley came up with the title that morning. "We worked through two or three different grooves with that title," he remembers. "Then we started something else, but came back to it. We got the 'Good girl, no good for you.’ We kept coming up with cool sections of the song. Most songs are verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus. This is more verse, pre-chorus, chorus, post chorus and then something else and another part of the chorus. It was different, especially for country. We were writing over the electric guitar licks and drum patterns you hear on the record. Being in L.A. probably made us go a little more out of the box. But I’m not afraid to rock with her. She crushed the song."

    18. "Inside Your Heaven" - Carrie Underwood
    Hot 100 Peak: No. 1 for one week (2005)

    When songwriter Andreas Carlsson heard one of his songs was going to be recorded by the winner of season three, he thought it was "The Best of Me," written with Desmond Child and John Reid. Then he was told it was a song he had written a year and a half earlier, "Inside Your Heaven." Child produced the recording and says, "Carrie can sing a song from beginning to end without stopping. She doesn't make any mistakes and it's perfectly in tune and then she sings it again even better than before. She's stunning. She's also prepared. She goes in there and she knows the song. That's rare."

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    Insane Carrie Fan gaycarebear's Avatar
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    Carrie has 20 songs total on that list.
    liz278 and rainbow1 like this.

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    Junior Carrie Follower desubear's Avatar
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    aww. i was hoping BHC would get better than number 9.

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    Obsessed Carrie Fan Burst's Avatar
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    BHC is most definitely bigger than a few of the songs about it. It's sold more than all of them except for Home and Stronger, had amazing longevity, great recurrent airplay, and is simply the better song. It should've been #3 imo.

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    Insane Carrie Fan gaycarebear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burst View Post
    BHC is most definitely bigger than a few of the songs about it. It's sold more than all of them except for Home and Stronger, had amazing longevity, great recurrent airplay, and is simply the better song. It should've been #3 imo.
    Well, it's based on Hot 100 performance, so it's not based on an opinion.
    desubear likes this.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Carrieflattsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaycarebear View Post
    Well, it's based on Hot 100 performance, so it's not based on an opinion.
    TBH, this is why I hate the fact that so many country artists don't even get the chance to chart on the Hot 100.

    It's all about the pop artists.

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    Carrie Fans Maniac kewlie78189's Avatar
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    ^^ ya that part sucks!

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    Insane Carrie Fan thunder92's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrieflattsfan View Post
    TBH, this is why I hate the fact that so many country artists don't even get the chance to chart on the Hot 100.

    It's all about the pop artists.

    Yeah unless they cross over or have one huge performance to skyrocket sales, top 20 is a struggle many times

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    Obsessed Carrie Fan NC State Carrie Fan's Avatar
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    Carrie only had 2 songs on the top 30?...robbed

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    Insane Carrie Fan Carrieroxmysox2011's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry too much about this list.


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