Tag Archives: Clay Aiken

ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: November 23, 2003

No doubt, these songs are great!

It’s the start of another weekend, which means it’s time for another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest top 40 goes up for the week, I feature the highlights of a past countdown. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on.

This week, we stroll back 14 years and find out what was topping my chart for the week of November 23, 2003…

Debuts:
39. ROD STEWART featuring CHER, “Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered”
23. TRAIN, “When I Look To The Sky”

Biggest Mover(s):
P!NK, “God Is A DJ” (24-15, nine spots)

10. LINKIN PARK, “Numb” (up 7)
Album: Meteora (2003, Warner Bros. Records)
Peak: #3 for two weeks

09. SARAH MCLACHLAN, “Fallen” (steady, second week)
Album: Afterglow (2003, Arista Records)
Peak: #9 for two weeks

08. CLAY AIKEN, “Invisible” (down 1)
Album: Measure Of A Man (2003, RCA Records)
Peak: #5 for two weeks

07. EVANESCENCE, “My Immortal” (up 5)
Album: Fallen (2003, Wind-up Records)
Peak: #1 for four weeks

06. BRITNEY SPEARS featuring MADONNA, “Me Against The Music” (steady, second week)
Album: In The Zone (2003, Jive Records)
Peak: #6 for two weeks

05. DIDO, “White Flag” (down 2)
Album: Life For Rent (2003, Arista/RMG Records)
Peak: #2 for three weeks

04. CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “The Voice Within” (up 1)
Album: Stripped (2002, RCA Records)
Peak: #4 for four weeks

03. DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL, “Hands Down” (up 1)
Album: A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar (2003, Vagrant Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

02. NELLY FURTADO, “Powerless (Say What You Want)” (steady, second week)
Album: Folklore (2003, DreamWorks/Interscope Records)
Peak: #2 for three weeks

01. NO DOUBT, “It’s My Life” (steady, fourth week)
Album: The Singles 1992–2003 (2003, Interscope Records)
Peak: #1 for five weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: November 2, 2003

"Down" and up this week's chart.

“Down” and up this week’s chart.

It’s the start of another weekend, which means it’s time for another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest top 40 goes up for the week, I feature the highlights of a past countdown. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on.

This week, we stroll back 13 years and find out what was topping my chart for the week of November 2, 2003…

Debuts:
40. MICHAEL MCDONALD, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
35. LINKIN PARK, “Numb”

Biggest Mover(s):
(see below, #9)

10. SHERYL CROW, “The First Cut Is The Deepest” (steady, second week)
Album: The Very Best Of Sheryl Crow (2003, A&M Records)
Peak: #10 for two weeks

09. CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “The Voice Within” (up 22)
Album: Stripped (2002, RCA Records)
Peak: #4 for four weeks

08. DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL, “Hands Down” (up 6)
Album: A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar (2003, Vagrant Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

07. BRITNEY SPEARS featuring MADONNA, “Me Against The Music” (up 1)
Album: In The Zone (2003, Jive Records)
Peak: #6 for two weeks

06. MAROON 5, “Harder To Breathe” (down 3)
Album: Songs About Jane (2002, Octone/J Records)
Peak: #2 for five weeks

05. CLAY AIKEN, “Invisible” (steady, second week)
Album: Measure Of A Man (2003, RCA Records)
Peak: #5 for two weeks

04. NELLY FURTADO, “Powerless (Say What You Want)” (steady, second week)
Album: Folklore (2003, DreamWorks Records)
Peak: #2 for three weeks

03. FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE, “Stacy’s Mom” (down 2)
Album: Welcome Interstate Managers (2003, S-Curve/EMI Records)
Peak: #1 for six weeks

02. DIDO, “White Flag” (steady, second week)
Album: Life For Rent (2003, Arista Records)
Peak: #2 for three weeks

01. NO DOUBT, “It’s My Life” (up 5)
Album: The Singles 1992–2003 (2003, Interscope Records)
Peak: #1 for five weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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TOP TEN: Vital Idols

Saving the best for last.

Saving the best for last.

It’s end of the Idol as we know it, and we feel fine about reminiscing and playing our favorite songs from the artists that were a part of one of the most successful television shows of all-time. For 15 seasons now on FOX, beginning in June 2002, we’ve watched new talent emerge on stage and dialed our little hearts out (and texted and clicked a few buttons on the web) to see if our pick was going to move onto the next round of competition and, eventually, win the prize of being crowned the nation’s idol. Like any program, an eventual decrease in ratings and, in this case, slumping record sales from winners, began to defeat the purpose of it. It shouldn’t be a surprise that its latest season will be its last (at least, for now.) Still, you can’t devalue the program for what it did in its heyday. It was a giant and one that will be remembered forever.

While the show’s last premiere begins tonight at 8PM Eastern on FOX, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and find out which American Idol finalists ranked as the top ten from the archives of Adam’s Top 40. (These results may change, obviously, as a few contestants remain on my listing as of last week.) Since September 2002, when the first song from a finalist made my chart, 27 performers from the show have landed at least one top 40 single on my chart, and they’re responsible for 88 top 40 singles in total (with more to come, I’d hope.) That’s a whole lot of top 40 property over hundreds of weeks in the last 13+ years. So, who’s my top Idol finalist when it comes all those weekly points? Check it out below.

Biggest hits are determined by year-end point totals. Singles marked with a ** represent those entries that garnered an act’s top point total, but not the highest peak in the top 40.

Lee DeWyze
10. LEE DEWYZE
Season: Nine, winner
Top 40 hits: 1
Top 10 hits: 1
Biggest hit: “Sweet Serendipity” (#5, 2011)

David Archuleta
09. DAVID ARCHULETA
Season: Seven, second place
Top 40 hits: 2
Top 10 hits: 1
Biggest hit: “Crush” (#5, 2008)

Bo Bice
08. BO BICE
Season: Four, second place
Top 40 hits: 1
Top 10 hits: 1
Biggest hit: “The Real Thing” (#1 for three weeks, 2006)

Elliott Yamin
07. ELLIOTT YAMIN
Season: Five, third place
Top 40 hits: 4
Top 10 hits: 1
Biggest hit: “Wait For You” (#5, 2007)

Clay Aiken
06. CLAY AIKEN
Season: Two, second place
Top 40 hits: 5
Top 10 hits: 2
Biggest hit: “Invisible” (#5 for two weeks, 2003)

Phillip Phillips
05. PHILLIP PHILLIPS
Season: Twelve, winner
Top 40 hits: 4
Top 10 hits: 3
Top 5 hits: 3
Number ones: 0
Biggest hit: “Gone, Gone, Gone” (#2 for two weeks, 2013)

Adam Lambert
04. ADAM LAMBERT
Season: Eight, second place
Top 40 hits: 6
Top 10 hits: 4
Top 5 hits: 1
Number ones: 1
Biggest hit: “Whataya Want From Me” (#1 for two weeks, 2010)

David Cook
03. DAVID COOK
Season: Seven, winner
Top 40 hits: 5
Top 10 hits: 3
Top 5 hits: 3
Number ones: 2
Biggest hit: “Light On” (#1 for five weeks, 2008/2009)

Chris Daughtry
02. CHRIS DAUGHTRY/DAUGHTRY
Season: Five, fourth place
Top 40 hits: 13
Top 10 hits: 8
Top 5 hits: 5
Number ones: 2
Biggest hit: “It’s Not Over” (#5 for five weeks**, 2007)

Singles charted:
“It’s Not Over” (#5)
“Over You” (#9)
“Feels Like Tonight” (#11)
“What About Now” (#3)
“No Surprise” (#1 for two weeks)
“Life After You” (#5)
“September” (#7)
“Photograph” (Santana featuring Chris Daughtry) (#17)
“Crawling Back To You” (#1 for two weeks)
“Outta My Head” (#26)
“Start Of Something Good” (#29)
“Waiting For Superman” (#6)
“Battleships” (#29)

Kelly Clarkson
01. KELLY CLARKSON
Season: One, winner
Top 40 hits: 25
Top 10 hits: 18
Top 5 hits: 11
Number ones: 3
Biggest overall hit: “Don’t You Wanna Stay” (Jason Aldean featuring Kelly Clarkson) (#1 for four weeks)
Biggest main-credited hit: “Because Of You” (#1 for three weeks, 2005)

Singles charted:
“A Moment Like This” (#2)
“Miss Independent” (#3)
“Low” (#22)
“The Trouble With Love Is” (#4)
“Breakaway” (#3)
“Since U Been Gone” (#7)
“Behind These Hazel Eyes” (#1 for four weeks)
“Because Of You” (#1 for three weeks)
“Gone” (#11)
“Walk Away” (#7)
“Never Again” (#15)
“My Life Would Suck Without You” (#2)
“I Do Not Hook Up” (#11)
“Already Gone” (#2)
“All I Ever Wanted” (#28)
“Don’t You Wanna Stay” (Jason Aldean featuring Kelly Clarkson) (#1 for four weeks)
“Mr. Know It All” (#3)
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (#2)
“Dark Side” (#16)
“Catch My Breath” (#9)
“People Like Us” (#6)
“Underneath The Tree” (#12)
“Heartbeat Song” (#9)
“Invincible” (#7)
“Piece By Piece” (#12+)

Remember to watch tonight’s premiere of American Idol as a part of its two-night premiere at 8PM Eastern on FOX. Follow PGTC by clicking the tab below, or click the “Get Social!” page to find us on social media.

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: October 12, 2003

"Mom" knows best.

“Mom” knows best.

It is time for yet another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. Alright, let’s get a move on to the final year of middle school, a few weeks into eighth grade, and revisit my top songs from this week in 2003…

Debuts:
38. WILLA FORD featuring LADY MAY, “A Toast To Men”
34. KILEY DEAN, “Who Will I Run To?”
29. BRITNEY SPEARS featuring MADONNA, “Me Against The Music”

Biggest Mover(s):
MICHAEL BUBLE, “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?” (31-23, eight spots)

10. CLAY AIKEN, “Invisible” (up 7)
Album: Measure Of A Man (2003, RCA Records)
Peak: #5 for two weeks

09. MATCHBOX TWENTY, “Bright Lights” (steady, second week)
Album: More Than You Think You Are (2002, Atlantic Records)
Peak: #9 for two weeks

08. 3 DOORS DOWN, “Here Without You” (down 2)
Album: Away From The Sun (2002, Republic/Universal Records)
Peak: #4

07. MANDY MOORE, “Have A Little Faith In Me” (steady, third week)
Album: Coverage (2003, Epic Records)
Peak: #5

06. O.A.R., “Hey Girl” (up 2)
Album: In Between Now And Then (2003, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #6 for two weeks

05. MARIA, “I Give, You Take” (steady, third week)
Album: My Soul (2003, DreamWorks Records)
Peak: #5 for three weeks

04. PINK, “Trouble” (steady, second week)
Album: Try This (2003, Arista Records)
Peak: #4 for three weeks

03. DIDO, “White Flag” (steady, third week)
Album: Life For Rent (2003, Arista Records)
Peak: #2 for three weeks

02. MAROON 5, “Harder To Breathe” (steady, fourth week)
Album: Songs About Jane (2002, Octone/J Records)
Peak: #2 for five weeks

01. FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE, “Stacy’s Mom” (steady, fourth week)
Album: Welcome Interstate Managers (2003, S-Curve/EMI Records)
Peak: #1 for six weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: October 18, 2003

Say what you want about these two.

Say what you want about these two.

Welcome back for another edition of Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my new top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. This week, it’s back to eighth grade, probably the worst year of school ever. However, the music was still pretty good, with a lot of singer-songwriters and pure pop acts hitting it big on my survey. Here’s my chart from October 18, 2003:

Debuts:
33. EVANESCENCE, “My Immortal” (#1 for four weeks, December – January 2004)
22. NO DOUBT, “It’s My Life” (#1 for five weeks, November)

Biggest Mover(s):
BRITNEY SPEARS featuring MADONNA, “Me Against The Music” (29-18) (11 spots)

10. MATCHBOX TWENTY, “Bright Lights”
Rob Thomas and his band were still doing well in 2003 having just come off the success of the single “Unwell”. This third release from More Than You Think You Are was the biggest of the era on my chart, spending two weeks at #9 before falling to #10 this week. Four years later, the band would go to #1 for five weeks with “How Far We’ve Come”. They last charted earlier this year with the #21 single “Our Song”.

09. MARIA, “I Give, You Take”
Down from #5 after three weeks there, this was her only song to make my chart. “Take” garnered some airplay at the CHR format in the fall of 2003, but ultimately flopped after the folding of DreamWorks Records. There was a conspiracy theory for a while on one of the message boards I’m on that Maria was actually Samantha Mumba under another name, but that’s not true. They do look similar, however!

08. O.A.R., “Hey Girl”
After two weeks at #6, the first song to make my chart for this band from Rockville, MD fell to #8. After hitting it big with the college crowds, this was their first big attempt at breaking mainstream radio, and while it was a hit in some markets, it didn’t do well nationally. Luckily, “Shattered (Turn The Car Around)” changed all that, becoming their biggest success to date, with a #2 peak on my own personal chart.

07. NELLY FURTADO, “Powerless (Say What You Want)”
Moving up from #13 last week, this single led off her album Folklore, and I was really into it during the fall of 2003. I still think that it’s the best body of work of her career so far. It would end up peaking at #2. Sadly, the song and the era never took off in the U.S., and the singer was largely forgotten about until she roared back with 2006’s “Promiscuous”. She is currently working on a second Spanish album.

06. CLAY AIKEN, “Invisible”
Here’s the American Idol portion of our countdown; hey, someone had to make it possible. Taking a leap from 10-6 was Aiken’s first top ten single on my top 40; he had just missed it a few months earlier with “This Is The Night” (#12). “Invisible” is actually a remake of a single that originally charted earlier that summer by the Irish boy band D-Side; the song went to #7 in the United Kingdom and in Ireland.

05. MANDY MOORE, “Have A Little Faith In Me”
Moore, Moore, Moore. How do you like her? Well, I liked her a lot, especially this song originally done by John Hiatt and which she covered for her 2003 album appropriately titled Coverage. “Faith” was up 7-5 this week, which tied 2001’s “In My Pocket” for her highest peaking song on my survey. She last made my top 40 in 2007 with the #7 “Extraordinary”. She’ll be appearing in an upcoming TV film, The Advocates.

04. PINK, “Trouble”
The album was Try This, but though she tried, she and her label couldn’t get America on board with this era. “Trouble” had a huge debut on my chart, but quickly peaked out after it was clear that the song was faltering nationally. #4 would be as high as it went. Followup single “God Is A DJ” also quickly went top ten, but was largely ignored by U.S. radio. What a difference ten years makes; she’s absolutely crushing it now.

03. DIDO, “White Flag”
Now, the singer from England who made a name for herself on both sides of the Atlantic. After “Here With Me” and “Thank You” went top ten in 2000 and 2001, respectively, this final single (thus far) to rank from her was holding steady that week, but would climb to #2. A new studio album from her, Girl Who Got Away, was out earlier this year on RCA Records and a Greatest Hits album will be released in November.

02. MAROON 5, “Harder To Breathe”
Ah, yes, it was the debut hit for that pop/rock group out of California who seems to be more popular now than they ever were before. “Breathe” would spent five consecutive weeks at #2 on my chart, with this particular week being its final at the position. They would follow this up with two number-one singles in a row, “This Love” and “She Will Be Loved”. They’re about to chart with a new single, “Lucky Strike”.

01. FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE, “Stacy’s Mom”
Here it is ! #1 for a fifth consecutive week on my top 40 this week in 2003 might be the only song you know from this power pop quartet based out of New York City. Alternative radio picked up a few of their singles in the mid-to-late 90’s, but it was “Mom” that quickly took off with a mainstream audience. The song charted moderately well in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and here in the U.S., going to #21 on the Hot 100. A followup single, “Mexican Wine”, missed the top 20 on my survey in 2004. They haven’t charted since then.

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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Winging It: Taking Flight In The Forty

Flying away on a wing and some air.

Flying away on a wing and some air.

British girl group Little Mix has already started their journey towards dominating the United States with their first single, “Wings”. It currently stands at #44 on the CHR chart, though it hasn’t quite cracked the Billboard Hot 100 yet. In preparation for their debut, however, I thought it might be interesting to see how some other winged titles flew up the charts. In total, eight songs with “wings” in the title have hovered onto the Hot 100, and I’ve picked out my five favorites. So, let’s soar along with some sailing songs.

“BROKEN WINGS”, Mr. Mister (#1, 1985)
After an underperforming album, 1984’s I Wear The Face, this Arizona band was on the verge of breaking up after lead singer Richard Page was extended offers to be the lead singer in both Chicago and Toto. Page refused, focusing his attention on his band and what was about to become their biggest era ever. As the lead single from Welcome To The Real World, “Broken” spent two weeks at #1, propelling both the album and followup single, “Kyrie”, to the top spot in the spring of 1986. After a third album that did very little, the band broke up. A version done by Rick Springfield, featuring Page on backing vocals, garnered some minor adult contemporary airplay in 2005.

“FLYING WITHOUT WINGS”, Ruben Studdard (#2, 2003)
Back when American Idol wasn’t a sinking ship in the ratings, season 2 brought us a big battle between Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard. Studdard won the competition in a very close race, and his winning single was a cover of a song Irish boy band Westlife took to #1 in the U.K. in 1999. His version, issued with a b-side of “Superstar” (the old Carpenters hit), debuted at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 behind runner-up Clay Aiken‘s “This Is The Night”, which ruled for two weeks total. Studdard returned to the top ten the next year with “Sorry 2004”, but hasn’t had anything nearly as big since, though he’s had some moderate-sized R&B entries. He currently records for Shanachie Records.

“ON THE WINGS OF LOVE”, Jeffrey Osborne (#29, 1982)
Osborne first made a name for himself in the 70’s as the lead singer of L.T.D., but departed the group by 1980 and started up a solo career. “Love” was his second top-40 hit on the Hot 100 (following the #39 “I Really Don’t Need No Light”) and peaked at #29 around the Christmas holiday. His biggest crossover success wouldn’t come until 1986 and 1987 with a pair of top-20 singles. He last made the Hot 100 in 1988 and his regular chartings on the R&B chart were largely over by 1991. You may remember that he performed this song on The Bachelor several seasons ago when pilot Jake Pavelka was the star of that cycle. Too bad Pavelka’s relationship ended with an emergency landing.

“PRETTY WINGS”, Maxwell (#33, 2009)
This R&B singer had a pretty consistent track record from his 1996 debut, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, until his 2001 release, Now. All of studio albums were at least certified Platinum, and his singles generally did well on the R&B survey, including “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)” (1996, #8) and “Fortunate” (#1, 1999). Then, he simply disappeared. No new releases, no touring, no television appearances. He suddenly reemerged in 2008 with a series of live performances, which was followed by BLACKsummers’night in 2009. “Pretty”, the leadoff single, was welcomed with open arms by Urban radio, spending fourteen weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Three other singles from the effort charted. A new album is expected by him later this year.

“WIND BENEATH MY WINGS”, Bette Midler (#1, 1989)
Here’s a song that has quite a bit of history. Originally published in 1982, versions by Roger Whittaker and Sheena Easton were both recorded during that year, but neither rendition became a single. Lou Rawls made his last appearance on the Hot 100 with his take in 1983, but it only went to #65. Two other versions charted that year on genre-specific charts, one by Gladys Knight & The Pips (titled “Hero”, #23 AC) and the other by Gary Morris (#4 Country), which won a few accolades at the ACM and CMA Awards. However, the best known version of “Wind” is by the Divine Miss M, Bette Midler. Released on the soundtrack to Beaches, which she also starred in, the song went to #1 for one week in 1989. It won Record and Song Of The Year at the GRAMMY Awards the following year. Shortly afterwards, Midler saw most of her success on the adult contemporary survey (and a few dance hits.) Her last studio album, Cool Yule, was out in 2006.

The other three high-fliers:
“BUTTERFLY WITH BULLET WINGS”, Smashing Pumpkins (#22, 1995)
Years after they began charting at rock radio, the band finally cracked the top 40 on the Hot 100 with this song. It was their first of four big hits on the chart, the biggest of which was “1999”, which went to #12. They’ve made the Alternative survey as recently as last year.

“IF MY HEART HAD WINGS”, Faith Hill (#39, 2001)
“Heart” was the fourth single to be released from Hill’s 8x platinum album, Breathe. It hit the top 5 on the Country chart, which she wouldn’t achieve for another four years. Hill’s material has been underperforming as of recent, though she still performs live. Beginning in April, she and her husband, Tim McGraw, begin their Soul2Soul residency in Las Vegas.

“WINGS OF A DOVE”, Ferlin Husky (#12, 1961)
Beginning in 1953, Husky began a chart run of over twelve years on the Country chart, landing a total of eleven songs in the top ten. “Dove” was his last crossover hit to make the top 40, peaking at #12, as well as his final #1 single on the Country survey. He passed away in 2011.

Do you have a favorite flier in the flock? Maybe you prefer the band Wings better? Let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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American Idle: Who’s Next On The Chopping Block?

Whataya want from them?

Whataya want from them?

2012 was another rough year from American Idol finalists, many of whom were dropped from their major record label deals due to underperforming releases. The list includes (but isn’t limited to) blues singer Haley Reinhart, country cutie Kellie Pickler, as well as lite rockin’ Season 8 champ Kris Allen. This now means five of the eleven winners from the show have now been dumped; some have signed to independent labels, but that’s resulted in very little. Since the past few years have been especially volatile for singers being dropped, 2013 won’t likely be any different, and so, I present to you a prediction post of who might get the boot from their labels in 2013. This doesn’t necessarily mean they will be; it’s more of just the reasoning behind why one would be considered for a cancellation of their contract.

Now, some Idol contestants are obviously safe: Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, both winners of their respective seasons, have plenty of more big singles to go. Jennifer Hudson is obviously still in the spotlight because of her Weight Watchers success, and I think that will translate into at least another album or two, maybe another big movie. In short, she’s not going anywhere. Phillip Phillips, the reigning winner, is all over the radio with “Home”. He’ll continue to enjoy some hits… for now. However, I’m not sure about the rest of this crew. Let’s take a look at them by season.

SEASON 2
The only season 2 contestant of note that’s still on a major label is Clay Aiken, who has recorded a pair of albums for Decca Records after his drop from RCA. Tried And True made the top ten on the album chart, but barely passed 20,000 copies sold in its first week. Steadfast was released last year to capitalize on Aiken’s appearance on The Apprentice, but it faded away fast. He can’t get any sort of adult contemporary airplay anymore (unless it’s his 2003 hit, “Invisible”) and even though he still has a big fan base, they’re not buying his releases. He’ll likely get dropped and return to the theater. I would think that’s a more natural home for him at this point.

SEASON 3
Fantasia Barrino recently released a new single entitled “Lose To Win”, which samples “Nightshift” by the Commodores, and it’s really underwhelming, getting mixed fan reaction online. Plus, the whole scandal’s she been going through right now concerning an Instagram photo and a statement about the gay community isn’t exactly going down well. You know what’ll be going down well? Her sales. I bet you saw that one coming. Her album will do OK in the short-term, but I think this will probably be the last one for her, at least on RCA. She may try to sign to an independent label afterwards, but I don’t see anything coming of it.

SEASON 5
This is probably one of the more unlikely ones, but keep an eye out for a potential drop of Daughtry. Their last album, Break The Spell, was indeed certified Gold for shipments of 500,000 copies, but “Crawling Back To You” wasn’t a major hit (at least not to the effect that “It’s Not Over” and “Home” were) and the followup singles did even worse, becoming the band’s first mainstream releases to not crack the Hot 100. None of the three made the top 40 at CHR radio, which is a really bad sign as well. They may have one album left in them, or RCA could cut the cord after their tour with 3 Doors Down is over. It’s all up to them.

SEASON 6
Let’s be honest, Sparkle wasn’t the big hit a lot of people were expecting given the unfortunate passing of Whitney Houston. As it turns out, the name Jordin Sparks wasn’t selling tickets either. Sparks still has a recording contract with RCA, but her last release, “I Am Woman”, was a big failure despite a new sound for the singer. I think she’ll release an album this year with perhaps one mid-charting single and another that doesn’t do well at all, then, get the cut. I don’t think it’s worth keeping her around; the dance genre doesn’t fit her voice, and if that’s what is going to continue to be big on the charts, she’ll get lost in the shuffle.

SEASON 8
Alright, Glamberts, hold your horses for one second. I like both of Adam Lambert‘s albums. The singles, for the most part, did pretty well on my personal chart. However, radio doesn’t want him, and the general public, for the most part, can’t be fussed with him. Second album Trespassing debuted at #1 on the album chart. Impressive, fair enough. However, his first week sales were south of 80,000 copies and the album hasn’t been certified. Not great. “Better Than I Know Myself” was a minor Hot AC hit; “Never Close Our Eyes” did even less; the title track didn’t chart at any radio format. Boys and girls, it’s just not going to work out. Since the album’s promotion has ended, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an announcement from him early on in 2013. I can see him going to an exclusively dance label, but his success will be limited to the Dance/Club Play charts.

SEASON 9
Casey James has seen a few minor entries on the Country chart, but nothing really notable. Second single “Crying On A Suitcase” has been in the top 50 for nearly thirty weeks, so it’s likely to get pulled soon. He’s just no match for Carrie Underwood. He has a second album in the works at this point. He may get signed again to a smaller label and try getting ranked on the Music Row charts. Something might work out for him there.

SEASON 11
Alright, this is where it’s going to hurt. I see three additional people getting cut from last season. James Durbin is an obvious drop from Wind-up Records after his next album; “Love Me Bad” and “Stand Up” got some minor airplay, but nothing substantial. Nobody’s really interested in the Hinder/Nickelback-lite material at this point. Lauren Alaina still has a deal with 19/Mercury/Interscope and is in the process of finishing a second album, but considering how badly the three singles from her first album did on the Country survey, there’s no way she’ll make it to a third with the label. Lastly, Stefano Langone is still set to release a debut album with Hollywood Records in 2013, but does anyone even care about him anymore? “I’m On A Roll” dented the CHR top 50, but that was months ago. Next.

You may not necessarily agree with all of this, but just keep an open mind if one of these performers is a favorite of yours. Some things just weren’t meant to be, and this isn’t meant to be cruel. It’s just the music business nowadays. Too many music competition shows, not enough long-term superstars.

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