Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood Top ‘American Idol’ 100 Hits List
Two of the best-selling "American Idol" champs, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood dominate a special Billboard magazine survey of the 100 hit singles the TV competition's finalists scored in its first 11 seasons. Of the 100 tunes ranked, 31 country hits that reached the Hot 100 made the list, the top-selling of which is Carrie's sassy smash, "Before He Cheats," which comes in at No. 9.
Carrie placed more songs on the survey than any other artist, with 20 in total, while Kelly's impressive tally of 18 tunes includes four of the top five, including the No. 1 "Idol" hit of all time, "Since U Been Gone." Carrie's "Before He Cheats" was a huge pop crossover hit, in spite of the fact that it didn't receive a pop remix, common for country songs that hit the mainstream chart. The single stayed on the Hot 100 a staggering 64 weeks, the fifth longest run for any song in the chart's history.
Carrie and Kelly's rankings also translate to total record sales. During her time on the show, Simon Cowell famously declared to Carrie that not only would she win the competition, she would outsell all other "Idol" contestants. The Oklahoma native is, indeed, the best-selling Idol in the U.S., while Texas-born Kelly is tops in worldwide sales.
Other finalists who rank among the 100 include Kellie Pickler, Scotty McCreery, Bucky Covington, Lauren Alaina and Josh Gracin. Odds-makers are favoring another country win on the show this season as Kree Harrison has recently emerged as the potential frontrunner. To date, the "American Idol" franchise has been responsible for 379 No. 1 hits on Billboard's various charts.