Add a couple more key stats to the "American Idol" alumni database, because Kelly Clarkson, Season 1 winner and working mother-to-be, just scored another platinum album to be added to the growing list. And she did it just days after her latest single, "Underneath The Tree," topped the charts to give her another No. 1 hit.
Call them early Christmas presents...
RCA took to their Twitter account Thursday, Dec. 5, to announce that the 31-year-old "Stronger" singer's latest album, Wrapped In Red, had been certified platinum (one million units sold) by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
The achievement made Clarkson the first "American Idol" alum to score five separate platinum albums. Wrapped in Red is her sixth studio release. Only 2009's All I Ever Wanted has yet to reach platinum status (and it is only about 25,000 units away from that million-sold threshold).
Thus far, Wrapped In Red has sold over 330,000 copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan, but the RIAA certifies albums shipped (which, of course, are hard copy CDs), not only albums actually sold (which includes downloads).
Wrapped In Red is the second "Idol" album by an alum to reach platinum status. It follows Clay Aiken's 2004 release, Merry Christmas with Love, which has sold 1.42 million units to date. It is the franchise's twentieth platinum album overall and the second album to go platinum this year; Season 11 winner Phillip Phillip's debut album, The World From the Side of the Moon, went platinum in August.
News of the certification comes directly on the news of heels that Clarkson's latest single, "Underneath The Tree," has become her latest No. 1 song. "Underneath The Tree" topped the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart the same day. (Billboard tabulates its data following each Sunday, but officially finalizes data each Thursday, usually preceding the official news with a press release the day before.) It is her third instance topping that particular Billboard chart.
Clarkson has topped one Billboard chart or another over 85 times. She leads all alums thus far, with Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood roughly a dozen number ones behind her. "American Idol" alums, all told, had produced 400 chart toppers by September. And Kelly Clarkson's "Underneath The Tree" may not be the last of 2013, either, as Carrie Underwood's The Sound of Music Live! soundtrack, the music from the live broadcast NBC special presentation aired on Dec. 5, was released on Tuesday (Dec. 3).
No matter how one looks at it, Kelly Clarkson is on a roll leading into the new year. Not only is she topping charts and getting platinum certified, she's making appearances and giving network's new life. Ratings underachiever NBC won the ratings Wednesday night with "Christmas from Rockefeller Center," where the first "American Idol" winner performed two songs from Wrapped In Red, "Run, Run Rudolph" and "Blue Christmas."