Lee DeWyze First Season 9 Contestant to Appear on a Billboard Chart

WHETHER HE WINS OR PLACES SECOND, LEE DeWYZE IS FIRST SEASON 9 CONTESTANT TO APPEAR ON A BILLBOARD CHART

By Fred Bronson, IdolsNow
Exclusive to MJ’s Big Blog

We don’t know yet if Lee DeWyze will be the winner of Season 9 of “American Idol” or the runner-up, but one thing is certain: he is the first finalist from the current year to show up on a Billboard chart. “Slumberland,” a pre-Idol CD recorded by Lee and released in January 2010, debuts at #32 on the Heatseekers chart, a survey designed to highlight breaking artists. To be eligible to appear on Heatseekers, an artist must not have previously charted in the top half of The Billboard 200, the magazine’s official album chart.

Artists can remain on the Heatseekers tally until they break into the top 100 of The Billboard 200, at which time they “graduate” off of Heatseekers.

Lee is the 48th Idol finalist to appear on a Billboard chart. The season with the highest number of charted Idols is Season 5, with nine of the top 10 making at least one appearance on a Billboard survey. Season 3 and Season 7 are tied for second place, with seven charted Idols each.

Counting all Idol contestants, the number of charted Idols jumps to 51. The three non-finalists to see their names listed on a Billboard chart are William Hung, Josiah Leming and Frenchie Davis.

Here is a list of Idol finalists who have charted in Billboard, season by season:

List after the JUMP…

Season one: (five)
Kelly Clarkson
Justin Guarini
Tamyra Gray
RJ Helton
Jim Verraros

Season two: (four)
Ruben Studdard
Clay Aiken
Kimberley Locke
Josh Gracin

Season three: (seven)
Fantasia
Diana DeGarmo
Jasmine Trias
La Toya London
George Huff
John Stevens
Jennifer Hudson

Season four: (four)
Carrie Underwood
Bo Bice
Constantine Maroulis
Mario Vazquez

Season five: (nine)
Taylor Hicks
Katharine McPhee
Elliott Yamin
Chris Daughtry
Paris Bennett
Kellie Pickler
Ace Young
Bucky Covington
Mandisa

Season six: (six)
Jordin Sparks
Blake Lewis
Melinda Doolittle
LaKisha Jones
Phil Stacey
Chris Sligh

Season seven: (seven)
David Cook
David Archuleta
Jason Castro
Brooke White
Carly Smithson
Michael Johns
Kristy Lee Cook

Season eight (five)
Kris Allen
Adam Lambert
Danny Gokey
Allison Iraheta
Matt Giraud

Season nine (one)
Lee DeWyze

Fred Bronson is the creator of the IdolsNow app for the iPhone (www.getidolsnow.com) and the author of “The Billboard Book of Number One Hits” and “Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits.” He appeared on “American Idol” during seasons 2, 4, 7 and 9.

  • Nina1

    Holy Toledo!

  • Studio57

    Just wondering, but is this what the list would look like if it was just artists in the Top 100 singles/ top 200 Albums main chart? I’m just guessing here:

    Season one: (five)
    Kelly Clarkson
    Justin Guarini
    Tamyra Gray
    RJ Helton
    Jim Verraros

    Season two: (four)
    Ruben Studdard
    Clay Aiken
    Kimberley Locke

    Josh Gracin

    Season three: (seven)
    Fantasia
    Diana DeGarmo
    Jasmine Trias
    La Toya London
    George Huff
    John Stevens
    Jennifer Hudson

    Season four: (four)
    Carrie Underwood
    Bo Bice
    Constantine Maroulis
    Mario Vazquez

    Season five: (nine)
    Taylor Hicks
    Katharine McPhee
    Elliott Yamin
    Chris Daughtry
    Paris Bennett
    Kellie Pickler
    Ace Young
    Bucky Covington
    Mandisa

    Season six: (six)
    Jordin Sparks
    Blake Lewis
    Melinda Doolittle
    LaKisha Jones
    Phil Stacey
    Chris Sligh

    Season seven: (seven)
    David Cook
    David Archuleta
    Jason Castro
    Brooke White
    Carly Smithson
    Michael Johns
    Kristy Lee Cook

    Season eight (five)
    Kris Allen
    Adam Lambert
    Danny Gokey
    Allison Iraheta
    Matt Giraud

    Season nine (one)
    Lee DeWyze

  • Jx223

    That’s good for Lee, it shows there is interest in his music. I had also saw he was charting on Itunes at least a couple of different times as well.

  • Allison

    I think you are right, Studio57. Which makes Seasons 1, 3 and 6 low on mainstream success, which makes sense, since they are almost universally thought of as the weakest seasons.

  • Studio57

    I probably should have added top 200 albums in there.

    If i am not mistaken, Heatseakers isn’t that big of a deal. I am almost positive that Constantine’s album made the Heatseekers chart too, and only went on to sell about 7,000 units.

    Having said that, i downloaded a couple of songs off that album a few months ago. His pre- idol stuff is pretty good.

  • http://flamingnose.blogspot.com Scott

    Makes me wonder how David Cook’s “Analog Heart” would have done had he chosen to keep it up on amazon.com mp3 and also had sold it on itunes during AI-7. Since it briefly hit #1 on amazon, surpassing that week’s mentor, Mariah Carey, I suspect AH not only would have been on “a” billboard chart, it might have cracked the BB 200 before the season ended. I also wonder if this news about Lee’s album will result in some backlash. AI fans can be weird that way lol.

  • Hakunamatata

    There must be something wrong with the list if Ace Young can be in the list. LOL.. seriously, that boy cannot sing! ( have to say though i thought he was ohhh soo cute during his season!)

  • Tess

    The only thing that charts like this tell me is that someone, somewhere likes to make charts. A few hundred people buying an album and a radio station in someone’s hometown spinning a few favorites doesn’t validate someone. The more I read about all this number mumbo jumbo the more I realize that it all has very little significance in the over-all grand scheme of someone’s longevity and career.

  • unique28v

    The more I read about all this number mumbo jumbo the more I realize that it all has very little significance in the over-all grand scheme of someone’s longevity and career.

    Its still a nice accomplishment though. Especially since Lee is the only one from Season 9 to be on it, so obviously not everyone’s hometown is buying a few hundred albums. I don’t think Lee’s accomplishment should be minimized, even if its not the same as being number 1 on the BB Hot Singles Chart.

  • ggdoorsfan

    there’s demand for the types of numbers and data and charts people like bronson compile – he is a billboard chart guru, very thorough and music lovers and geeks like the kind of data people like him are able to sort and compile. i’ve kept up w/ various billboard charts and history, tracking favorite artists careers pretty much for years, so i view this kind of stuff as an interesting corollary to the music. where would idolverse be without numbers and data like this to use as comparators, or battering rams, depending on the point trying to be made, lol…

  • jpfan

    “Just wondering, but is this what the list would look like if it was just artists in the Top 100 singles/ top 200 Albums main chart?”

    I don’t know about other seaons but six of the S5 finishers had albums chart in the Top 10 on the BB200: Hicks, McPhee, Yamin, Daughtry, Pickler, Covington. And four of them charted in the Top 3 on the BB 200 chart. I’m pretty sure all of them had songs chart in the top 10 on various radio charts. The irony was that the finalists Hicks and McPhee had less radio presence that the runner ups.

    No season has really come close to that.

  • Allison

    Studio57, I used to track idol sales pretty closely. Constantine
    debuted on the Billboard 200 at #75. His first week he sold 8,918 and his second week 3,813.
    In my records I show Constantine had 41 weeks of 100+ sales, including one week of street violations. He sold approx 25,000 over the course of the first year.

  • Kirsten

    Just wondering, but is this what the list would look like if it was just artists in the Top 100 singles/ top 200 Albums main chart? I’m just guessing here:

    The following are missing (that I know of)

    Season one: (three including Kelly)
    Justin Guarini (20 on the BB200)
    Tamyra Gray (23 on the BB200)

    Season two: (four including Ruben, Clay and Kim)
    Josh Gracin (this guy had pretty big success with his first album. It went Gold. It had several hits on country and was 11 on the BB 200)

    Season three: (four including Fantasia)
    Diana DeGarmo (pretty sure her single was high on the Hot 100, her album was on the BB200 at 52)
    La Toya London (BB200 at 82)
    Jennifer Hudson (BB200 at 2, I’m sure she was on the Hot 100 too)

    Season four: (four including Carrie, Bo and Mario)
    Constantine Maroulis (BB200 at 75 & 129)

    Season five: (nine including Taylor, Elliot and Chris)
    Katharine McPhee (BB200 at 2, also songs on the Hot 100)
    Paris Bennett (BB200 at 133)
    Kellie Pickler (BB200 at 9, I think she had songs in the Hot 100)
    Ace Young (BB200 at 160)
    Bucky Covington (BB200 at 4, I think he had songs in the Hot100)
    Mandisa (BB200 at 43)

    Season six: (five including Jordin)
    Blake Lewis (BB 200 at 10, plus on the Hot 100)
    Melinda Doolittle (BB200 at 59)
    Phil Stacey (BB200 at 43)
    Chris Sligh (BB200 at 190)

    Season seven: (five including Cook, Archie and Jason)
    Brooke White (BB200 at 50, Hot 100 at 47)
    Kristy Lee Cook (BB200 at 49)

    Season eight (four including Kris and Adam)
    Danny Gokey (BB200 at 4)
    Allison Iraheta (BB200 at 35)

    So, 38 Idols (but I’m probably missing some). Season 5 as usual dominates.

  • sonyab

    Hakunamatata:

    There must be something wrong with the list if Ace Young can be in the list. LOL.. seriously, that boy cannot sing! ( have to say though i thought he was ohhh soo cute during his season!)

    I think he is a great singer. :) And that his shaky hand was so endearing. :) And yeah he is very cute. :)

  • Sq

    What’s so interesting is how many of the top 10 don’t make this ‘easy’ list.

    Anyone want to guess how many from this season will chart?

    My this years crew seems weak compared to even the weakest of the past years. How on earth did they manage to find such a week group?

  • kansasfemale

    This is the type of thing that makes me tempted to actually vote this year, even though I promised myself I wouldn’t after last year’s ridiculous event. I hope the casual voters will finally understand that the pimping of the “he is just a poor paint salesman that came out of nowhere” is pure manipulation. All that experience and he still can’t stay in tune.

  • Liva

    That he’s charting with pre-idol, original material is fantastic. And hopefully this bodes well for Lee to write *a lot* of his own songs in the future.

    I think Simon did say it best when he said, Lee was working in a store and he needed a break, and the show gave him that break. Before idol, Lee was a poor paint salesman that came out of a ‘burb not many people had heard of. Among other gigs, he played bookstores for heaven’s sake. Hardly a ringer.

  • sma11ie

    Season seven: (five including Cook, Archie and Jason)
    Brooke White (BB200 at 50, Hot 100 at 47)
    Kristy Lee Cook (BB200 at 49)

    You missed Carly. We Are The Fallen just debuted in the 30s on BB200 last week.

    I also wonder if this news about Lee’s album will result in some backlash. AI fans can be weird that way lol.

    The smattering of media coverage here and there on Lee’s pre-Idol stuff being for sale, being sent to radio, iTunes, etc. has been going on for weeks and not gained any mainstream traction. If it hasn’t created backlash by now, I honestly don’t see it doing so this last week of competition.

  • siyamnuwebenine

    That’s good and all. But with all this hype about Lee, he could have an alphabet album and still be in the charts. His fans are over crazed right now that they’ll buy anything Lee specially his music. That’s why I think it’s hard for some contestants to get a good sell of albums after the AI tour.6 months of waiting can blow off the steam of some fans. Having an album out, whether he is no longer in contract with the company, is a good move for Lee’s career. He couldn’t be held responsible but still all through out the waiting for his “AI album”, there is something new (2 even) for the fans to listen to and go gaga over. But I have to say there are some decent songs in there.

  • itsalleternal

    They forgot Brooke Barrettsmith (S5), Brianna Taylor (S5) and Julissa Veloz (S8), at least, for that list as well, which increases it to 54. There may be others.

    Not aware of any semi-finalists, other than Mario Vazquez, who have charted though, interestingly enough.

  • bridgette12

    This is great for Lee. This kid is a shoe-in to win this title. It’s become obvious that he has built a sizeable fanbase and hopefully for him, will be there for him on tour and to buy his first solo album.

  • Liva

    There are also ‘un-crazed’ fans out there buying his material. I think people are just digging his voice.

  • Trina

    That’s good and all. But with all this hype about Lee, he could have an alphabet album and still be in the charts. His fans are over crazed right now that they’ll buy anything Lee specially his music.

    I would imagine fans buying anything he puts out “especially” music is far from a bad thing.

  • Reflections On Life

    @Studio57: I think you have to bold Kat McPhee as well. Her song “Over It” was a mainstream pop hit. Other than that, I defer to @Kirsten.

  • AIaddict

    Allright! Good for Lee. It’s a nice start.

  • http://www.planetfierce.proboards.com/ CindyM

    That’s a really good start, I think. I think he may have a chance of selling really really well!

  • Cari

    I think it’s odd that Lisa Tucker is the only season 5 contestant to not chart. I always thought she was so talented! But I guess she did only place tenth, right?

    Congrats to Lee! I think he has big things in his future, whether he wins or not. He and Crystal should both do well after the show.

  • girlygirl

    Good for Lee, but remember that he’s the only one who has a label releasing his pre-Idol stuff. Who knows whether Crystal would be charting as well if her pre-Idol material was available for sale.

    And if David’s or Kris’s pre-Idol albums had been available during their time on AI, I wouldn’t be all surprised if they would have ended up charting.

    Still, this is nice accomplishment for Lee. I don’t know if it means a lot in terms of his future sales, but it’s still nice for him.

  • tessa

    I love seeing ALL my fave Idols on the list! Lee, Matt and Michael Johns!!!

  • Liva

    Who knows whether Crystal would be charting as well if her pre-Idol material was available for sale.

    Oh, if I were a bettin’ man, I’d say FOR SURE she would be charting.

  • Cari

    Oh, if I were a bettin’ man, I’d say FOR SURE she would be charti

    yeah, I doubt *anyone* thinks this is any sort of knock to Crystal. We all know that she would’ve been charting back in March probably :p

  • wjmtv

    Well, Crystal’s getting radio play. I think that’s pretty cool.

  • Liva

    yeah, I doubt *anyone* thinks this is any sort of knock to Crystal. We all know that she would’ve been charting back in March probably :p

    To what are you referring, my dear? ;-)

    Seriously, I love this girl. But point well taken!

  • Liva

    Well, Crystal’s getting radio play. I think that’s pretty cool.

    But darn these idols for seeing musical success before they’re supposed to!

  • AIaddict

    Can anyone tell me why Cookie’s Analog Heart was taken down or not sold anymore when he hit the top 24? Was he made to stop selling it or was it his decision? If it was his decision to remove it for sell, why?

  • jujumagumbo

    I guarantee DC would’ve sold a lot more than Lee pre-finale if his album had been available. He was better at everything really. Performing? Check. Attractiveness? Not a good judge myself, but I’d say check. Singing? Checkcheckcheckcheckcheck.

  • standtotheright

    Can anyone tell me why Cookie’s Analog Heart was taken down or not sold anymore when he hit the top 24? Was he made to stop selling it or was it his decision? If it was his decision to remove it for sell, why?

    At the time, I think the producers were a lot stricter about having early material out there. Of the acts who had released albums (CS [as Carly Henessey], BW, and DC), only Cook had sufficient control over his album to remove it, as it was entirely self-released. So they had him take it down, but I think he felt that was appropriate as well. Supposedly it was put back up on Amazon without his knowledge which might be when all the silly “ringer” articles came out.

    He certainly could have put AH back up afterward, but he also submitted the songs for RCA, and I think once they didn’t make the cut, he decided to keep AH (and his other unreleased album) in pocket while he waited to see how the album did. That way he’d have “new” material to put out instantly should he find himself without a contract. I think it’s probably going to stay that way as long as he is with RCA. So I’m paradoxically left hoping that we don’t get to hear those songs outside of concerts for a long time.

    I guess DeWyze has enough confidence in his relationship with his friends and with his future Sony label that he thinks he can thread the needle on this one. I hope it works out for him.

  • connico479

    He (David Cook)certainly could have put AH back up afterward, but he also submitted the songs for RCA…

    I thought he only submitted the songs from the unreleased album he recorded AFTER Analog Heart. Did he actually submit previously released material? I could certainly be wrong.

    Analog Heart was outselling Mariah Carey at one time on Amazon. I feel certain it would have charted really high if allowed to continue to sell. I would pay big bucks even today for an actual cd.

  • http://myspace.com/girlgeek mj

    At the time, I think the producers were a lot stricter about having early material out there.

    The producers have no say over material that’s owned by other entities. The difference between David Cook’s album and Lee’s: David Cook’s was an independent release. He could contact Amazon.com and ask them to take it down.

    Lee on the other hand has no rights over recordings that are owned by a record company. Even if he did not like the material being distributed, he’s got no say in the matter. And neither do Idol producers.

    Analog Heart was outselling Mariah Carey at one time on Amazon.

    Mariah Carey’s album was available everywhere, while Cook’s was available on at Amazon. Plus, R&B music does not have a strong presence at Amazon, so comparing Mariah to Cook is like comparing apples to oranges.

  • sma11ie

    He certainly could have put AH back up afterward, but he also submitted the songs for RCA, and I think once they didn’t make the cut, he decided to keep AH (and his other unreleased album) in pocket while he waited to see how the album did. That way he’d have “new” material to put out instantly should he find himself without a contract. I think it’s probably going to stay that way as long as he is with RCA. So I’m pardoxically left hoping that we don’t get to hear those songs outside of concerts for a long time.

    Ha, true. I’m secretly hoping one of those old songs would be reworked into a more radio-friendly version on his new album though. You know how Kelly Clarkson says she wrote Because of You when she was 16, but the song as it stands on Breakaway was cowritten by David Hodges? Like that. I’m thinking he improved on it and made it better/radio-ready. And now millions got to hear something she wrote when she was younger.

    Also, I think David went into AI really with no expectations outside of getting as much exposure as possible. The follow-up to AH was ready to go, and it was going to be the way for him to capitalize on his AI publicity, after he got kicked off the show. Of course, things worked out differently, and we’re all grateful ;).

    I thought he only submitted the songs from the unreleased album he recorded AFTER Analog Heart. Did he actually submit previously released material? I could certainly be wrong.

    I heard he submitted all of it. During the summer tour meet and greets, he was asked if any song on AH would make the album and he said they were considering one. It eventually didn’t make it, but he submitted them. He also mentioned in an interview that he submitted like 40-50 songs for the record, and I’m assuming he didn’t write/record demos for that many songs over that summer, and at least 20 were pre-Idol.

  • AIaddict

    The producers have no say over material that’s owned by other entities. The difference between David Cook’s album and Lee’s: David Cook’s was an independent release. He could contact Amazon.com and ask them to take it down.

    Lee on the other hand has no rights over recordings that are owned by a record company. Even if he did not like the material being distributed, he’s got no say in the matter. And neither do Idol producers.

    Thanks mj. Honestly I don’t think Lee has a problem with his own material being released by WuLi Records not with the way he tore thru his own songs at his homecoming concert. He was very vocal about which were his own songs that day. So I still say that this is a nice start for Lee to be on the Heat Seeker chart. It’s a great way to be introduced onto the music scene and get people ready for the new cd in the fall.

    Lots of Cookie love here too and I would have loved to get my hands on that Analog Heart cd for sure.

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    Congratulations!!!!

    Sadly,I own she bangs lol

  • karenc

    A Daily Anthem was supposed to be on David Cook’s unreleased cd. I think Souveneir and We’re only Honest When We’re Sleeping was also.

  • KRo

    I’m not surprised! Both CD’s are amazing! He was really young when he recorded the 1st one. “Slumberland” is a work of art. Lee is already out of the gate! LOVE HIM!

  • mozart4898

    Looks like it’s been a while since anyone even checked this thread, but…two things. First of all, I’m sure Crystal would be charting if she actually had an album recorded like Lee does – she’s been getting radio play as it is. Second, someone asked who from this season will end up charting, my take: Lee, Crystal, Casey, Mike, Aaron, Siobhan, Tim. Seriously. I think all of them will have careers after this, and I could see several of them doing quite well – better than a lot of people probably expect.