Kelly Clarkson endorses Ron Paul: record sales down 40%, downloads up 232%, media tries to connect them

Original American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson’s support for Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul resulted in reaction from her fans and speculation from the media that it helped her sell more records last week.

Kelly Clarkson’s note of support for Ron Paul caused significant enough reaction that she apologized “if I have offended anyone” and added, “I do not support racism. I support gay rights, straight rights, women’s rights, men’s rights, white/black/purple/orange rights. I like Ron Paul because he believes in less government and letting the people (all of us) make the decisions and mold our country. That is all. Out of all of the Republican nominees, he’s my favorite.”

Entertainment Weekly insisted that, following that endorsement, “it’s safe to say that Clarkson has sold more copies of Stronger than she did last week,” citing her rank on iTunes and Amazon’s charts, although those aren’t a measure of actual sales, but how a something is selling over a period of time, which is why an author can, say, catapult their book to number one in a category by having readers buy at the same time or on the same day.

In any case, the “weekly sales of Stronger fell 40% last week, from 41,000 to 25,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan,” USA TODAY reports. And Billboard reports that her record “received front-of-store placement and $7.99 sale pricing” and that it was “down 40% overall, but up 232% in downloads.” Still, her album moved from 39 to 17 on the Billboard 200.

So is there any correlation? Who knows, but that never stops some members of the media from guessing. As USA TODAY responsibly noted, “it’s hard to tell,” especially because this happened between the holidays, when sales go down.

Update: Billboard thoroughly debunks reports of a possible connection: “it wasn’t Clarkson’s political preferences that pushed digital sales of ‘Stronger’ — its $7.99 sale price (which was matched by AmazonMP3) and iTunes’ advertising were the real reasons behind the gain.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.