'American Idol' loses album-selling punch

Feb. 9, 2005 at 3:18 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The reality TV show "American Idol" pulled in a record 31 million viewers during its fourth season amid signs its power to sell CDs has diminished.

Last season's winner, Fantasia Barrino, has sold a respectable 850,000 copies of her debut album "Free Yourself." However, that is far less than previous "Idol" stars Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, Rolling Stone reported.

Executives from "Idol"and Arista/J Records sparred about the reasons why Barrino's debut album won weaker-than-previous sales.

Barrino, considered by some critics the most artistically credible winner, said many people don't take TV stars seriously. She told the magazine that watching TV is free "and a lot of people just don't go out and buy records."

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