Is there such thing as too much sustained success? Ask Carrie Underwood.
There's no question the former Idol champ is a superstar -- in fact, she's arguably country music's reigning queen. She sold more than 6 million copies of her debut album, has picked up every imaginable award (including a couple more Grammys this past weekend), had a song on a hit movie soundtrack (Enchanted) and continues to produce hit after hit (her newest single, "All American Girl," is currently in the Top 10 and rising on the Country chart). In addition, she looks gorgeous and is a fixture in the gossip magazines and blogs for who she's dating (Tony Romo? Chace Crawford?)
So what's the problem?
The problem is that her sophomore CD, Carnival Ride, is not performing at quite the clip her first CD Some Hearts did. Don't get me wrong -- having been certified double platinum in December, the album is very far from being a failure. And the album's first two singles ("So Small" and "All American Girl") have both had major success on the country charts.
However -- this past week the album posted sales of just 20K, and she has slipped to number 29 on the album sales chart. And although they are operating in totally different musical genres, it is noteworthy that she has fallen behind fellow Idol alum Daughtry on the chart --despite the fact that Daughtry's album came out a full year before Carrie's did.
Now, the winter months are traditionally a slow sales period (the #1 album of the week, Alicia Keys, managed sales of just 63K), so there is certainly no need for Carrie (or her many loyal fans) to worry. But I have to wonder -- why is this happening at a time when Carrie is getting more publicity than ever?
The only answer I can come up with is that she's simply been too consistently successful. There hasn't been a period of more than a few weeks without an Underwood song on the top of the charts, and the overlap between Some Hearts disappearance from the charts and the arrival of Carnival Ride was minimal. Are people so used to Underwood's success at this point that they don't feel the urgent need to run out and buy her album? If they are going to purchase an Underwood CD, are they just going to grab the one with "Before He Cheats" and "Jesus Takes the Wheel," instead of picking up the new one? Because she never disappeared from the spotlight and then returned, are people not even aware she has a new CD?
Obviously there is no way to know the exact reason her sales are not exploding, and, as I said, she is still so successful that there is not really huge cause for concern. However, I did think it was worth noting, and I'm curious -- what do you think is the reason Carrie's album sales seemed to have slowed down a bit? Leave a comment and let me know!
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