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American Idol Winner Scotty McCreery Makes Chart History

06/03/2011
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American Idol champ Scotty McCreery has made country music history with his first single, "I Love You This Big," which has the highest-charting debut for a new artist in more than two decades.

"I Love You This Big" debuts at No. 32 on Billboard's Nielsen BDS-based Hot Country Songs chart. This is the highest debut for a new artist's first single since the chart began using BDS data the week of Jan. 20, 1990, according to Billboard.

The song, which hit No. 1 on iTunes, reached No. 3 on the Billboard Digital Songs chart with 171,404 units sold, while a compilation album featuring 14 of his performances from America Idol, entitled American Idol Season 10: Scotty McCreery, reached No. 12 on the Billboard Top 200 all-genre albums chart and No. 3 on the country albums chart with 23,196 units sold.

"I am humbled and shocked by this news," says Scotty. "I can't tell you what it means to me to be on the same charts as my musical heroes. I want to thank my fans and especially country radio for their support.

"I continue to be amazed by everything that has happened to me in such a short time."

Scotty won Season Ten of American Idol on May 25. A record-breaking 122.4 million votes were cast for Scotty and Lauren Alaina, the runner-up, and 38.6 million viewers tuned in to see the winner's name announced.

The song was sent to radio on May 24 after Scotty debuted the song on American Idol.

"This is such a special song to me, so I am thrilled that it is getting such a great reception at country radio. What I love about 'I Love You This Big' is that it can mean different things to different people. It could be about the relationship between a couple in love or a parent and child."

The 17-year-old singer is receiving big love from WQDR in Raleigh, N.C., which is located six miles north of his hometown, Garner, N.C. Not only is the station leading all Billboard panelists with more plays in the first week, but it has dubbed itself "Scotty 94.7" and incorporated the new name into an American Idol-inspired logo.

"I feel like the words 'thank you' aren't enough," he says. "I wish I could find more words to express my gratitude to everyone. I still can't believe how people are supporting me in so many ways."

Scotty will travel to Nashville next week to begin recording his debut album. He will present at the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday and participate in other CMA Music Festival activities, including the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday, June 11. He will make his Grand Ole Opry debut on Friday, June 10.

He will perform on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on June 15. He will be featured on the American Idols Live tour that begins July 6 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and runs through September.

He will also perform on ABC's Good Morning America on Aug. 12.

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