This is a series inspired by a tweet from perpetual lightning rod for controversy Azealia Banks when she inferred that although Michael Jackson won the battle, Prince won the war. This will be my take on which two rivals in packaging in the U.S. Music Industry, won the war in terms of longer success.
The much overdue 8th and final round of this series pits two country singers that gained fame on reality talent shows against one another. In one corner, Carrie Underwood; winner of American Idol's 4th season.
In the other, Miranda Lambert; 3rd place of the ever so niche demo of The Voice (Judging by their goddamn winners & "successful" artists), Nashville Star.
Both rose to prominence because of competition TV and both have even crossed paths fairly recently. Yet there's always this question to ask...
In longevity terms, who merely won the battle...and who Won the War?
As of 2015, Underwood has 4 albums to her name with her 2012 effort Blown Away having been her last proper album; Lambert has 5; the 2014 album Platinum acting as her latest release. Here's their charting album peaks from highest to lowest:
- Carnival Ride at #1
- Play On at #1
- Blown Away at #1
- Some Hearts at #2
- Platinum at #1
- Four the Record at #3
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend at #6
- Revolution at #8
- Kerosene at #18
Due to the fact that these two have made something of a name for themselves, radio has played their songs every now and again. In terms of longevity when was their last #1 hit on the Hot 100?
This one is a bit tricky because Hot 100 land rarely budges for country to be #1, but Carrie's debut single "Inside Your Heaven"* reached #1...keep in mind this was 2005. Her last Top 10 song? "I Told You So" ft. Randy Travis in 2009.
*So technically, this is on her debut album as a bonus track, but a #1 is a #1 here...*
Miranda has yet to land a Top 15 (!) on the Hot 100.
So to keep things fair, I'll have to use the Country Airplay and US Hot Country charts to find their last #1 and Top 10 songs...
Carrie's last #1 was "Something in the Water" from 2014 on the Hot Country chart. Her last Top 10 was "See You Again" from 2013 which went #7 on the Hot Country chart [for posterity, it went #2 on the Country Airplay chart. O_O]
Miranda's last #1 and Top 10 was the 2014 song "Somethin' Bad"...ft. Carrie Underwood O_O O_O O_O which went #1 on the Hot Country chart and #7 on the Country Airplay chart...and was even #19 on the Billboard Hot 100...to this day; her highest placement on that chart. O_O
Musically, there are naturally some weak points in an artists' career when say...a lead single doesn't go to #1 or released singles chart really low. These are the positions at the lowest of Carrie and Miranda's careers...again this version of events is tricky as hell so bear with me...
Carrie's Lowest Charting Singles
- Lowest Charting Lead Single: If only counting the Hot Country and/or Country Airplay charts, it's "Inside Your Heaven" as it tanked at #52 on both country charts.
If looking at the Billboard Hot 100, it's "Something in the Water" which peaked at a respectable #24.
- Lowest Charting Released Single: If only considering the Hot Country and/or Country Airplay charts, "Inside Your Heaven" acts as a double nadir.
If looking at the Billboard Hot 100, [ignoring current at the time of writing single "Little Toy Guns" at #74] it's "Mama's Song" at #56.
Miranda's Lowest Charting Singles
- Lowest Charting Lead Single: If only counting the Hot Country and/or Country Airplay charts, it's "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" which tanked at #50 on the Country Airplay chart.
- Lowest Charting Released Single: If only counting the Hot Country and/or Country Airplay charts, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" acts as a double nadir.
If looking at the Billboard Hot 100, it's "More Like Her" which hydrogen-BOMBED at #90.
Now for the final points: iconic singles AKA the one song people know is by that artist.
Miranda has "Kerosene" to her name.
Carrie has "Before He Cheats" to her name.
Normally, I would've included a passage over how their nadirs end up being reflective of their careers...but the numbers by themselves do not lie. Although Miranda gets credit for having been invited as an adviser to The Voice...because Blake Shelton is on and they're married. Her songs have been performed on the show as well...
...but so have Carrie's...every. single. season.