Chris Daughtry Toasting Band’s #1 Success With … Billy Bob Thornton?

And yes, singer is keeping close eye on sixth season of 'Idol.'

There’s an old adage that goes, “Everything worth having is worth working for.” And perhaps no one knows that better than Chris Daughtry, former “American Idol” also-ran and current possessor of the #1 album in the country.

After all, he missed out on some serious beach time to get that album ready. And now, well, he’s looking to make up for that.

“I wrote the whole album in a couple of weeks. When I was on the [American Idols Live] tour this past summer, every day off I was in the hotel room writing. If we were in Fort Lauderdale, everyone else would be at the beach, on boats, enjoying life, and I’d be in a hotel room with Brent Smith from Shinedown, writing until 4 in the morning,” Daughtry laughed. “I knew that it had to be done, and so my work ethic just kicked in. It’s not all fun and games — there’s actual work involved and lots of sacrifice — but it definitely was worth it. Because now I can buy that beach.”

He’s kidding. We think. Because thanks to the success of the self-titled debut by his band Daughtry — it’s sold more than 1.2 million copies in just nine weeks and currently sits atop the Billboard albums chart (see ” ‘Idol’ Fever, Playoff Appearance Help Daughtry Finally Get To #1″ ) — it’s entirely possible that Chris could buy a beach if he wanted to. But with his first big-time tour just under way and that pesky “blue-collar ethos,” it’s unlikely Daughtry will be making any massive real-estate deals in the near future.

Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s not enjoying all the trappings that come with music-industry success.

“I’ve got all these artists, actors and comedians who would call me up and give me advice. I get to hang out with Billy Bob Thornton at his house,” Daughtry said. “We hang out over there every time we’re in L.A., because he doesn’t go out. We’ll hang and he’ll play us some of his tunes. It’s pretty awesome.”

We wonder what Billy Bob’s house smells like … anyway, in between touring, topping charts, planning a second single (“I’d like it to be ‘Home,’ cause I think it’d be a nice tribute to all our troops overseas,” he said) and hanging with Hollywood’s scruffiest star, Daughtry is also making time for another activity — something more than 20 million of us also do on a weekly basis: tuning in to “Idol.”

“Of course I’m watching it — I have nothing but great memories of my time on that show. I was truly able to be myself on everything, except those Ford commercials. And I would do it all over again if I had to,” he said. “And it’s weird to watch it now, because you forget that you’d gone through all that. And then it hits you, that you were there last year, and it’s pretty amazing. But I love this season so far … like when Simon, Paula and Randy mentioned Chris Daughtry, and that one girl said, ‘Versace?’ I thought that was hilarious.”

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