In what an RCA Records representative terms a "perfect storm" of radio airplay, digital sales and pop culture prominence, Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" rises from No. 2 to No. 1 on this week's Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. The uptempo pop anthem becomes the original "American Idol" champion's third leader on the list.
Clarkson first reigned with her "Idol" coronation song "A Moment Like This" for two weeks in 2002. She returned to the summit with "My Life Would Suck Without You" for two weeks beginning this week in 2009.
"Stronger" soars to the Hot 100's top spot with top Airplay Gainer honors, charging 33-15 on the Radio Songs chart (58 million audience impressions, up 49%, according to Nielsen BDS).
On the Digital Songs survey, "Stronger" spends a second week at No. 1. The song sold 237,000 downloads (up 6%) in the list's tracking week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The sum marks Clarkson's second-best sales week, outpaced only by the debut frame of "My Life" (280,000).
Aiding Clarkson and her new leader's profile, the singer performed the national anthem before Sunday's Super Bowl (Feb. 6) in Indianapolis. With 111.3 million viewers on NBC, the NFL championship game became the most-watched event in TV history, according to Nielsen.
"Stronger" also serves as the soundtrack to Toyota's current TV spot for its Camry model, in which Clarkson, from the driver's seat, leads a sing-along of the song with the seemingly unlikely trio of ESPN's Chris Berman, Bravo's James Lipton and the Travel Channel's Andrew Zimmern.