He's been the nation's seventh American Idol for less than a week, but David Cook is already proving that, when it comes to marketable, bankable artists, he certainly fits the bill.
"The Time of My Life," the coronation song that Cook belted out at the close of last week's "Idol" finale, opens at #1 on next week's Billboard Hot Digital Tracks chart, which ranks the best-selling digital singles nationwide. With 236,000-plus downloads, Cook bumps Rihanna's "Take a Bow" from the top spot — but that's not all.
All told, 17 of the songs the 25-year-old Missouri guitarist performed during the show's most recent season are sprinkled throughout the list, according to the latest SoundScan figures. Cook's "Dream Big" follows at #7 (with 111,000 downloads), while his rendition of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" from the season's final performance episode occupies the #9 position, having generated 97,900 downloads. At #14, with 80,000 downloads, it's Cook's cover of Collective Soul's "The World I Know," while his take on Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" was downloaded 60,000 times, earning it the chart's #18 spot.
Likewise, Cook's version of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" comes in at #21 (with 56,300 sold), his rendition of Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby" follows at #27 (46,600), and his performance of Lionel Richie's "Hello" occupies the #30 slot (42,300).
For being this year's "Idol" runner-up, David Archuleta isn't doing so bad himself. While he failed to inspire the sort of download action that Cook has, his take on Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" was the country's 23rd-most downloaded song, with sales of nearly 50,700. Two spots behind that, with 49,100 downloads, is his first single, "In This Moment," followed at #36 by his cover of John Lennon's "Imagine," which generated close to 40,000 downloads. Archuleta has 11 other songs on next week's download chart.
Not only was it a good week to be an "American Idol" finalist, it was also a good week to be an artist affiliated with the program. Disco diva Donna Summer appeared on the show last week, and her latest LP, Crayons, enters next week's Billboard Top 200 at #17 with 22,600 copies scanned during its initial week of release. Similarly, former "Idol" winner Carrie Underwood — who also appeared on the reality show last week — enjoyed a 58 percent boost in sales, sending her Carnival Ride up eight spots to #16 with 25,000 sold.
Former "Idol" hopeful Daughtry's self-titled debut experienced a 31 percent surge in retail interest to end the week at #20 — a 10-position jump — with 19,700 sold. And lastly, OneRepublic, who performed their hit "Apologize" alongside Archuleta, saw sales of their Dreaming Out Loud swell a whopping 107 percent to close the week out with 17,300 scans; the album, which sits in the #24 slot, shot up 64 positions on the chart.
All in all, there are 17 new releases cracking next week's Billboard album sales chart, with three of those opening in the top spots. With 154,300 copies sold during week one, 3 Doors Down's self-titled album bows on top, making it the band's second-straight #1 debut; 2005's Seventeen Days also opened at #1, but with 231,400 sold. Right behind them at #2, with 98,000 copies snatched up, is Bun B's II Trill, and with 67,000 in reported sales, it's the self-titled debut offering from "Dancing With the Stars" bombshell Julianne Hough at #3.
Jesse McCartney's Departure enters next week's chart at #14, having sold 30,200 units during its first week in stores, while Green Day vanity project Foxboro Hot Tubs' Stop Drop and Roll!!! follows at #21 with 18,900 scans. The soundtrack to "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" opens at #39 with close to 14,000 sold, while the Dresden Dolls' No, Virginia ... bows at #94 with 7,300 copies scanned. Actress Scarlett Johansson's collection of Tom Waits covers, Anywhere I Lay My Head, impacts the chart at #126 with 5,100 sold, while Mates of State's Re-Arrange Us comes in at #140, selling 4,600 copies.
The rest of next week's top 10 is rounded out by some of the industry's most consistent sellers. Frank Sinatra's Nothing But the Best falls two spots to #4 with 54,000 scans, while last week's #1, Death Cab for Cutie's Narrow Stairs, slips to #5, selling another 52,600 units. Leona Lewis' Spirit follows at #6 with 50,000 scans, with Mariah Carey's E=MC2 right behind at #7, scanning 44,900 copies. Duffy's Rockferry sold 44,200 copies, tumbling four spots to #8, while Madonna's Hard Candy follows at #9 with 38,600 scans. Lastly, falling three spots to #10, it's Neil Diamond's Home Before Dark, which sold another 35,700 copies.