Chris Daughtry had the kind of chart-busting immediate success that rarely happens in music these days, selling more than a million copies of his 2006 self-titled CD in the first five weeks of its release and going on to rack up nearly 4.5 million copies sold overall.

Chris Daughtry had the kind of chart-busting immediate success that rarely happens in music these days, selling more than a million copies of his 2006 self-titled CD in the first five weeks of its release and going on to rack up nearly 4.5 million copies sold overall.

It was quite a statement for Daughtry, who despite appearing to be one of the most popular performers on the 2006 season of American Idol was voted off earlier than some expected, and finished fourth that season.

Not only did his Idol run prime the pump for the release of his first CD fronting his band, Daughtry, it seemingly would have given him a taste of the life he was about to experience as one of the most popular artists on the entire rock scene.

But in a late July interview, Daughtry said American Idol wasn't as helpful as one might expect in preparing him for the fame and recognition that has come his way.

"When you're on that show, you have no clue what's going on outside of that. You're kind of in a bubble," Daughtry said.

The contestants start to get a taste of fame when they head out on the American Idols Live tour that follows each season, full of meet-and-greets and swarming fans.

"It's kind of like getting thrown out to the wolves and just the strong survive, really," Daughtry said. "You have to be very strong mentally to handle it yourself and not get caught up in believing your own hype."

Daughtry is certainly aware of his popularity and understands the star-making mechanics of the music industry, as well as the musical and lyrical ingredients songs need to have mass appeal. But he seems down-to-earth and quite honest when he talks about surrounding himself with people who keep him from getting a big head.

Daughtry and his band members (drummer Joey Barnes, guitarists Brian Craddock and Josh Steely and bassist Josh Paul) will probably have to remain vigilant about keeping their egos in check. If the initial response to the newly released Leave This Town is any indication, the group's popularity isn't going to fade any time soon.

Like the first album, the second CD debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's album chart upon its mid-July release, selling 269,000 copies in its first week.

Daughtry's music fits in comfortably alongside other popular mainstream rock acts, such as Nickelback, 3 Doors Down or Shinedown. The new album offers a mix of hard-hitting, hook-filled rockers ("Every Time You Turn Around," "What I Meant To Say" or "Supernatural"), as well as the occasional power ballad ("No Surprise," "Life After You")

Daughtry himself doesn't see huge differences in the music on the two CDs, with the exception of a song or two, most notably the country-ish acoustic track "Tennessee Line" (which features a guest appearance from Vince Gill). The 29-year-old from North Carolina noted he's a big fan of country music, as well as rock.

"Overall, you've got your big guitar choruses, and so that's kind of what we're about, a little bit of arena rock in there, a little sap for the ladies, a little balladry," Daughtry said.

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