FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Kelly Clarkson recently found herself in hot water after tweeting comments in support of Republican presidential candidate – and fellow Texan – Ron Paul. “I love Ron Paul. I liked him a lot during the last republican nomination and no one gave him a chance,” Clarkson said. “If he wins the nomination for the Republican party in 2012 he’s got my vote.”
The Burleson native, who blasted to stardom in 2002 as the winner of the first “American Idol” season, was immediately attacked by Twitter users who alleged that the pop singer was supporting racism and homophobia. Clarkson defended her endorsement, but was unable to deter the online roasting.
For many celebrities, such an incident could become a public relations nightmare. But for Clarkson, the minor online political scandal may have actually boosted her sales numbers for the week.
Clarkson’s fifth studio album – titled “Stronger” – debuted back in October to very strong sales which, naturally, have since waned. During the holiday week, album sales dropped across the board. But Clarkson’s drop was substantially lower than that of her peers – 40 percent, from 41,000 to 25,000 copies – according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Clarkson moved up from No. 39 to No. 17 on the Billboard 200 chart, as news of the tweet spread across the internet. This put Clarkson’s “Stronger” above the freshman album by most recent “Idol” winner Scotty McCreery, who dropped 74 percent.
“Stronger” also shot to No. 13 in album sales on Amazon and No. 6 on iTunes. And even a set of live performances exclusive to iTunes debuted at No. 85 with 9,000 downloads.
Given the unique circumstances of the holiday week, it is hard to tell if Clarkson’s jump on the charts was a result of the Paul endorsement or just a coincidence. The youthful voters who helped Paul place third in Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses may also be voting for Clarkson with their wallets.
Either way, Paul was thankful for the celebrity support, tweeting back, “@kelly_clarkson I appreciate the kind words!”