"Breakdown", as it appears on Daughtry, is actually a rewrite and combination of two songs previously, "Conviction" and "Break Down", performed by Chris Daughtry's former hard rock/alternative metal band "Absent Element". These two songs appeared on the album Uprooted.
The first single released from the album is "It's Not Over", and fellow Idol contestant Ace Young, producer Gregg Wattenberg, and Course of Nature frontman Mark Wilkerson are credited as co-writers. On December 25, 2008, the song was nominated for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. In 2007, WWE used "There and Back Again" as the theme song for their April pay-per-view Backlash. In the same year, the song "Feels Like Tonight" was used for their annual Tribute to the Troops special.
Three years after the album's release, it continues to maintain a spot in the top 100 best selling albums. It is still being promoted, along with the band's second studio album Leave This Town. In 2009, ESPN's NASCAR telecasts used "Feels Like Tonight" and "Home" for promotions.
"It's Not Over" led the album release, and proved to be a success, reaching the top five on multiple charts, including the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 where it peaked at number four.
The next single "Home" joined "It's Not Over" on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number five and making Daughtry the first debut album by an Idol contestant to contain two top five Hot 100 singles. Meanwhile, "What I Want" was released as the second single (the third overall) instead of "Home" to rock stations, and reached the top ten on Mainstream Rock, peaking at number six.
The band's fourth single, "Over You" was released to Top 40 and Hot AC radio on July 24, 2007, peaking in the top twenty of the Hot 100. "Crashed" (the fifth overall single), was released in place of "Over You" on rock stations on September 10, 2007.
The sixth single from the album, "Feels Like Tonight", was released on January 8, 2008. The song became a top forty Hot 100 hit for the band, peaking at number 24. The seventh and final single, "What About Now", was released on July 1, 2008. However, the song reached the top twenty of the Hot 100 over two months before its release, making it the band's fourth top twenty hit off the album on the chart.
Critical response to Daughtry was mixed; while many critics felt that the album was generally pleasing and the first real "rock" album from American Idol alumni, others felt it was unoriginal and too commercial. While Ken Barnes of USA Today conceded that Chris Daughtry has "strong pipes and palpable angst", overall he found the band "generic", calling them "FuelNickelStaindback". People magazine found the album "a solid if not spectacular effort that at the very least proves that Chris Daughtry is not just another Idol also-ran." Christian Hoard (with Rolling Stone) said that "[Chris] Daughtry gets points for not courting soccer moms, but just because he can howl like a mother fucker doesn't mean he's not a cheeseball." In a truly mixed review, Billboard said the album "is music tailor-made for ill-conceived radio formatting, music for consumers whose taste has already been well-established if not preprogrammed," then added, "But [Chris] Daughtry sure does sing his butt off." Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic awarded the album three and a half stars out of five, calling the album "a debut that's not only a lot more credible than any American Idol-affiliated rock album should be, but it's a lot easier to digest than most of its ilk." In a humorous review, comedian Stephen Colbert found Chris Daughtry's success further proof of the impending "cultural Armageddon." He remarked, "It's bad enough this guy sounds like Creed...but Daughtry's success sets a dangerous precedent of rewarding losers...America elected Taylor Hicks as its Idol, and we owe him our loyalty."
The album won an American Music Awards in 2007 for Favorite Pop-Rock Album. The album was nominated for four 2008 Grammy Awards: Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song for "It's Not Over", Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "Home", and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "It's Not Over"; the album did not win any.
Competing with a flurry of releases during its opening week (Jay-Z, The Beatles, Johnny Cash and others), Daughtry proved to be commercially viable. The album debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200, behind Jay-Z's Kingdom Come. It sold approximately 304,000 copies in its first week,
The album reached number one on the Billboard 200, with 65,000 copies sold, in its ninth week on the chart, for the issue dated February 3, 2007, becoming the first album from an Idol alumnus to top the Billboard 200 since Ruben Studdard's Soulful album in December 2003. In the next week the album fell to number three on the chart, but its sales increased to 80,000. In the following two weeks, the album remained at number three and sold nearly 80,000 copies each week. After this, sales increased to 102,000 copies, but the album dropped to number 9 on the Billboard 200; in the following week, the album climbed to number 2 on the Billboard 200 and sold 84,000 copies. In the next week, its fifteenth on the chart, it climbed back to the number one spot. It was then certified Double Platinum on March 7, 2007. The album was released in the UK on August 20 and debuted at number thirteen.
For the chart week of June 30, 2007 the album was certified 3x Platinum. The album stayed in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart for 27 of the first 28 weeks of its release.
The album deluxe version was released on the chart week of September 9, 2008 and bring a 95% leap to the previous week. On Daughtry's 130th week, Daughtry climbed from 174 to 69, making it the biggest jump of that year.
Daughtry is the first American Idol artist to stay in the top 100 for 116 weeks (2.2 years), and was the only debut album in the history of Soundscan to have stayed in the top 200 for 136 weeks until overtaken by Taylor Swift's debut album which has charted for over 250 weeks. Daughtry's debut album stayed in the Top 200 for 176 weeks. The album has sold 5,040,000 units in the US as of December 2015. and has been certified 4 times platinum by RIAA.* Joshua Hartzler not credited in liner notes but is registered under BMI for co-writing "What About Now".
Credits from album liner notes and AllMusic.
VocalsChris Daughtry – lead vocals
ImageryFrank Hawkins – art direction
Frank W.3 Ockenfels – photography