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Fantasia's debut CD falls short of other top 'Idol's

December 03, 2004|by Zap2it.com

Fantasia's debut album "Free Yourself" was never going to beat new releases by U2 or Gwen Stefani and it probably never could have topped strong-selling recordings by the likes of Eminem or Shania Twain. Expectations weren't that high. Still, the third "American Idol" winner became the first victor from the Fox talent show not to take the top spot on the Billboard sales list, moving fewer units than any of the show's previous champs.

"Free Yourself" sold around 240,000 copies for the week ending Nov. 28, taking the No. 8 position on the Billboard chart. "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," the latest from U2, sold 840,000 copies to take the top position, followed by the 471,000 units moved for Eminem's "Encore," which had paced the chart the two weeks before.

In a crowded marketplace in which 19 albums sold at least 100,000 copies, Fantasia's sales figures are relatively competitive, even if they mark a substantial decline for the commercial vitality of the "Idol" products.

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The two earlier "Idol" winners - Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard - both premiered on top, as did second season runner-up Clay Aiken. Despite finishing second in his season, Aiken's "Measure of a Man" remains the top selling "Idol" album, selling 613,000 copies in its first frame, followed by the 416,500 copies of Studdard's "Soulful" and the 297,000 in sales for Clarkson's "Thankful."

Fantasia's album couldn't muster the sales of Aiken's holiday release "Merry Christmas with Love," which sold 270,000 copies in its first week. That album slipped to No. 11 in its season week, still beating Studdard's gospel-themed second album "I Need an Angel," which could only muster 96,000 in sales for No. 20.

The fourth season of "American Idol" will premiere in January.

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