Despite ongoing health concerns, things just keep getting better on the professional front for "American Idol" season 11 winner Phillip Phillips. The singer's debut single, "Home," is making a splash on the Billboard charts, ringing up a series of history-making debuts for the FOX singing competition.
With 278,000 digital downloads, "Home" is the highest-debuting song on this week's Digital Songs chart, bowing at an impressive #2 behind Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." That number is also large enough to give Phillips the second-best digital-sales week ever for an "Idol" contestant. Only the original "American Idol," Kelly Clarkson, can boast a bigger digital sales week: Her smash "My Life Would Suck Without You" debuted with 280,000 downloads in January 2009.
Propelled by such strong sales, Phillips enters the Billboard Hot 100 at #10, making him the first "Idol" in four years to see his victory single reach the top 10. The last was David Cook, whose 2008 "Idol" single "The Time of My Life" entered the chart at #3.
The rock-solid debut of "Home" also gives Phillips the biggest sales week of any coronation song since 2003, the year SoundScan began tracking digital-download sales.
Billboard notes that two other "Idols" — season two victor Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken — have actually enjoyed larger opening frames than Phillips, though their numbers came outside the digital format. Aiken's 2003 season-finale single "This is the Night" moved 393,000 units as a CD single in its debut frame, while Studdard's "Flying Without Wings" shifted 286,000 discs.