When last we checked in on the sales of "Idols" veterans, in May of 2011, here's how we led off the column: "Among the more cynical takes on 'American Idol' is the argument that no one will even remember who Scotty McCreery is a year from now, that 'American Idol' doesn't really launch sustainable careers the way 10 years of touring dingy hellholes in a beat-up van would do."
Not quite 14 months later, McCreery has already cracked the Top 10, passing Glendale's Jordin Sparks, on the strength of one album.
Jennifer Hudson also passes Sparks, who drops from ninth place to 11th, and Adam Lambert hangs tough at No. 12. David Archuleta drops off the list, while the Top 8 is the same as last year.
Another interesting development? Underwood remains the biggest-selling album artist, but Clarkson passed her in digital tracks sales in the past year, thanks in large part to the huge success of "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)."
Here's a look all 12 artists.
1. Carrie Underwood Total sales: 13,247,000 albums; 469,000 physical singles; 22,697,000 digital tracks. Vital 'Idol' stats: Won Season 4. Biggest albums: Her seven-times-platinum debut, "Some Hearts," hit the charts at No. 2 in late 2005 and topped the country charts. Three subsequent releases -- 2007's triple-platinum "Carnival Ride," 2009's "Play On" and this year's "Blown Away" -- topped both charts. Biggest songs: Her "Idol" song, "Inside Your Heaven," topped the Hot 100 in 2005. Since then, she's topped the country charts with 11 songs: "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Before He Cheats," "Wasted," "So Small," "All-American Girl," "Last Name," "Just a Dream," "Cowboy Casanova," "Temporary Home," "Undo It" and this year's "Good Girl." Most recent hit: Released July 9, "Blown Away" had peaked at No. 30 on the country charts as of the week ending Saturday, July 28.