Saturday, 23 February 2013

Country Billboard Chart News February 14, 2013

Country Billboard Chart News February 14, 2013

Josh Groban's "All That Echoes" arrives at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart this week, selling 145,041 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's the singer's third No. 1 album, following 2003's "Closer" and 2007's top-seller, "Noel." His last studio release, 2010's "Illuminations," debuted and peaked at No. 4 with 191,000 sold in its first week. Groban is one of the few artists in the past year to tally a No. 1 album without ever having a top 40 hit single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

At No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 lands the new arrival Tim McGraw's "TWO LANES OF FREEDOM, produced by Byron Gallimore. It marks the country star's first album for Big Machine Records selling 106,604 copies to bag his 15th Top 10 and on the Billboard Country Albums chart, it bows at No. 1, his 14th leader.

Tim McGraw Album Artwork
 Of the tally sold 41K were digital copies which puts it at #1 on All-Genre Digital Albums chart. It’s McGraw’s first #1 album on the digital chart, which reflects country fans’ increasing comfort level with digital.
McGraw now pulls ahead of Garth Brooks, who has had 14 top 10 albums. (Brooks’ last studio album, Scarecrow, came out in November 2001. C’mon, Garth. Back to work.)
In Canada Tim debutted at #4 on the album chart selling 5,800 copies.

All but one of McGraw’s studio albums has topped the country chart. His only studio album to fall short was TIM McGRAW AND THE DANCEHALL DOCTORS, which debuted and peaked at #2 in December 2002. What album was hot enough to block its path? Shania Twain's Up!
TWO LANES OF FREEDOM did to sell more than the projected 100,000 copies during its first week, ending a consistent downward trend in McGraw’s first-week sales. LIVE LIKE YOU WERE DYING moved 766,000 units during its street week in 2004. Each of his four studio albums that followed sold progressively fewer copies in its first week, with 2012’s EMOTIONAL TRAFFIC selling just 68,000 copies.
The album comes after the conclusion of McGraw’s acrimonious relationship with his former label, Curb. He feuded publicly with the company over the release of several greatest-hits albums, and the parties ended up in court. A solid launch that maximizes exposure for the album was thus important to both McGraw and Big Machine. “We try to do that for every one of our releases,” Scott Borchetta, the Big Machine CEO, observed,but we definitely wanted Tim to feel the love and to feel that he’s made the right decision in his new home.”
Tim’s coast-to-coast release week took the Platinum selling entertainer from The Super Bowl to the GRAMMY Awards.
Tim McGraw Album Promotion -  USS Midway Event

Promoting the album Tim made TV appearances on Ellen , Tonight Show with Jay Leno and  On Chelsea Lately.
A special album release day concert took place onboard the aircraft carrrier USS Midway in San Diego which was streamed LIVE on Yahoo! Music.

To that end, key programmers from across America were brought in to witness the concert, including execs from KSON San Diego, KNCI Sacramento and WUSH Norfolk, Va., among others. It had some immediate benefits in promotion—WUSH PD/music director Brandon O’Brien, for example, delivered a short, social-media promotion from the flight deck just before the show.The short-term benefit isn’t nearly as important as the long-term payoff. “I can bring back information to share with my listeners,” O’Brien said. “It builds my relationship with Tim and the label, as well.”
The sales numbers, the implied audience numbers and the reinforcement of partnerships made the Two Lanes of Freedom launch a success. But so did the actual concert presentation, which showed off McGraw and the U.S.S. Midway setting very nicely.
It looked incredible when I pulled it up on the phone,” Big Machine VP of promotion and media strategy John Zarling said. “From a quality standpoint, that’s another reason why we’re really so pleased with it. It really presents the artist in a top-notch fashion.”

Tim shares his thoughts on the new Big Machine project: “It reflects a lot of what I’ve done in my career on this record,” says “I think you can recognize what it is that I do, but it also I think it sort of subtly shifts you in a direction where I may be going with my music and the things that I’m liking now and the sounds that I like. It’s like I’ve sort of shifted gears and hit the accelerator a little bit.” Highlights on the 13-track album, the first release from McGraw on Big Machine, include the current single “One Of Those Nights” and “Highway Don’t Care” featuring Taylor Swift and Keith Urban.

Music critics are offering positive comments on the  the 11 song disc for its impressive balance of iconic McGraw material with broader new sounds influenced by everything from celtic to piano pop.
USA Today - If this is an indication of McGraw’s next phase, then let Freedom ring again and again.” 
Los Angeles Times - “…a major new start for McGraw…”
Billboard - McGraw is a master of balancing lighter fare and introspection, seamlessly shape-shifting from life of the party to brooding philosopher, emoting the trickier, riskier byways of pain and regret as skillfully as he approaches the more common themes of romance and freewheeling good times.”
GAC Review - Where you wanna go? Tim McGraw asks with an urgent roll on the epic title-track of his new album, Two Lanes of Freedom. And judging by the song’s dramatic arrangement full of cascading harmonies, thundering percussion and exotic hint of didgeridoo, it seems as if Tim might really be asking himself that question as he proceeds to break free of any restraints on his new project ....The road will always go on, and for Tim McGraw, Two Lanes of Freedom is the start of the next ride. So, where you wanna go?

Tim McGraw performs "Two Lanes of Freedom" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
 >>  YouTube
“One of Those Nights” Lyric Video >> YouTube  Tim’s UK Message >> YouTube
The Two Lanes Of Freedom 15 track [Deluxe Edition] will be released in the UK on 11 Mar 2013 - Amazon UK

After 45 chart weeks at #5 sits Hunter Hayes with his self-titled release. It sold 18,532 copies, up by 46% on the previous week receiving a Grammy booast in just a few days after his performance. It has now past the 600K mark reaching 601,688 units.
At No.6 on the Country Chart saw Little Big Town’sTORNADO” sell 18,527 copies (+24%) and at 701,234 sold blew past the 700K marker.

Selling 3,525 copies, at No.146 on the Top 200 and No. 18 on the Country chart saw the arrival of Holly Williams with THE HIGHWAY.
After a pair of major label albums, Hank Williams; (grand) daughter decided to take matters into her own hands. She has worked with producer Charlie Peacock (Civil Wars, The Lone Bellow) in the its making.
Holly Williams - Album artwork
The beautifully written “Waiting on June” is a true story, is about Holly’s grandfather and grandmother on her maternal side. “It is definitely the most proud I have been of a song and a lyric,” she says. She lost both of her grandparents within the last four years before making this album, so their story was on her mind.
I wanted to write about the impression they left on me. They had a long, beautiful, and simple up and down farm life together.”
“The Highway” also features collaborations with people Holly admires in the music business. She talked about how they all came about saying, “I went into the studio not really planning on having any guests.” However things quickly changed. Gwyneth Paltrow, Dierks Bentley, Jackson Browne and Jakob Dylan all ended up joining Holly on the album. She said it all ended up happening very organically.

(5 Feb 2013) Holly Williams - Highway [Import] (Georgiana Records) Time: 45:12 / 11 tracks
Amazon CDAmazon MP3UK iTunes - Trailer >> YouTube

Billboard Top 200  (week of February 23, 2013)

(Country Album positions #1 - #25)
(TW) This Week, (LW) Last Week, Co (Country Album Chart placing / Movement)

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of February 23, 2013)

On Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart - which blends:
a) All-format airplay, as monitored by BDS  b) Sales, as tracked by Nielsen SoundScan and c) Streaming, according to BDS it results in:

Hunter Hayes’Wanted (Atlantic/WMN),  fueled by a post-Grammy Awards digital spike (up 33%) and Top 40 crossover airplay, is crowned for a second time on Hot Country Songs as it jumped 3-1 in its 51st chart week. The song first reached No. 1 in September 2012, just one month before the chart’s ranking methods changed from a core country radio audience to a hybridized tabulation involving digital.
Hunter  performed “Wanted” on the Grammys telecast, and it bullets at No. 24 in its 13th week on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 chart.

Lady Antebellum sweeps up triple Greatest Gainer honors for digital, streaming and airplay with “Downtown,” during this week which rockets 34-6 on Hot Country Songs. The track also bows at No. 2 with 73,000 on Country Digital Songs.

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of February 23, 2013)

Hunter Hayes with “Wanted” returns to the Top The Chart, #3 - #1
The Band Perry with former #1 “Better Dig Two” drop one slot, #1 - #2
Tim McGraw with “One Of Those Nights” jumps up four, #7 - #3
Blake Shelton with “Sure Be Cool If You Did” stays at #4 
Gary Allan with former #1, “Every Storm” (Runs Out Of Rain) is down, #2 - #5
Lady Antebellum with “Downtown” leaps up from #34 - #6  
Florida Georgia Line with former #1 “Cruise” drop one slot, #6 - #7
Carrie Underwood with “Two Black Cadillacs” stays at #8
Jason Aldean (w Luke Bryan & Eric Church) and “The Only Way I Know” drops #5 - #9
Little Big Town with “Tornado” stay at #10
Hunter Hayes with “Somebody’s Heartbreak” is up 2 places, #13 - #11
Brad Paisley with “Southern Comfort Zone” is down one slot, #11 - #12
Tim McGraw & Taylor Swift with “Highway Don’t Care” debuts at #13
Taylor Swift with former #1 ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is down, #12 -#14
Lee Brice with “I Drive Your Truck” stays at #15
Randy Houser with “How Country Feels” drops seven places, #9 - #16
Dierks Bentley with “Tip It On Back” is down one slot,  #16 - #17
Kacey Musgraves with “Merry Go ‘Round” is down four,  #14 - #18
Carrie Underwood with “Blown Away”, stays at #19
Kenny Chesney with “Pirate Flag” jumps up from #35 - #20
Taylor Swift with “Begin Again” drops four, #17 - #21
Miranda Lambert with “Mama’s Broken Heart” is down two, #20 -#22
Florida Georgia Line with “Get Your Shine On” stays at #23
Thompson Square with “If I Didn’t Have You” drops four, #21 - #24
George Strait with “Give It All We Got Tonight” is down one slot, #24 - #25

Hot Country Songs
*** No. 1 (2 weeks)  ***  “Wanted” Hunter Hayes
** Greatest Gainer/Digital, Airplay & Streaming **  No.6 “Downtown”  Lady Antebellum
** Hot Shot Debut  **  No. 13 “Highway Don’t Care”  Tim McGraw & Taylor Swift
Debut No.37   “Consider Me”  Hayden Panettierre
Debut No.43 “I’m A Girl”  Hayden Panettierre
Debut No.44  “Southern Girl”  Tim McGraw
Debut No.49  Two Lanes Of Freedom”  Tim McGraw
Debut No.50  “Holler If You’re With Me”  Tate Stevens

Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of February 23, 2013

The Band Perry nails the #1 spot on the Billboard Country Chart this week with “Better Dig Two,” the fastest-rising song and third chart-topper of their career. The bold lead single has sold nearly one million copies and provides a stellar preview of the sibling trio’s Republic Nashville release on April 2.
As excitement escalates, Rolling Stone raves, “[on ‘Better Dig Two’] the family country band shifts from subdued hand claps and banjo finger-picking to explosive choruses flush with huge guitar crashes and Kimberly Perry’s searing hot siren calls.” Entertainment Weekly lists the upcoming project as one of the “12 Albums We Can’t Wait For.”

We are thrilled that our fans and country radio love ‘Better Dig Two’ as much as we did when we first heard it!  It’s the ultimate love song. A true Appalachian sentiment with a definitive ‘until death do us part’ message,” says Kimberly Perry.
We knew that our fans were embracing ‘Better Dig Two’ because we could see it at our live shows, the movement and dancing among the crowd when we play this song is like no other,” says Reid Perry.
Whenever I strike the first note of the intro to this song we can feel the excitement among the audience.  It’s fun to perform live and we are so happy our fans have made this our third #1 single,” says Neil Perry.
“Congratulations to Kimberly, Neil and Reid on their third #1 single with ‘Better Dig Two!’ It’s so great seeing the lead single off their sophomore album go #1 in just 15 weeks,” says Jimmy Harnen, Republic Nashville President & Big Machine Label Group EVP.

Lady Antebellum’s new single “Downtown” moved from 20-16 in its 3rd week on the chart and bagged Greatest Gainers honours with a 15.680 million audience (+3.716 million gain) along with most increased plays (+669 gain).
Pirate Flag  Kenny Chesney’s lead-off single from his forthcoming album moved up 2 places garnering the week’s “Most Added” prize (+41) reported to Billboard by reporting stations, with an 13.293 million audience (+2.324 million)

Also noteworthy on Country Airplay are the Lumineers, who ping the chart at No. 60 with “Ho Hey.”
They are an American folk rock band from Denver, Colorado who comprise of frontman Wesley Schultz along with Stelth Ulvang, Neyla Pekarek, Jeremiah Fraites, and Ben Wahamaki.

The pop/rock smash garners spins at three monitored country stations, led by CBS Radio-owned KMLE Phoenix, which played the song 22 times during the Feb. 4-10 BDS tracking week. KMLE also played Mumford & Sons’ former Alternative No. 1 “I Will Wait” 37 times in the past week. Although neither of the songs is being aggressively promoted at the country format, KMLE PD Jeff Garrison says, “[Both groups make] music with real lyrics and real instruments that speak to everyone, not just one format of listeners. The reaction has been tremendously positive, with most listeners telling us that the both bands belong on KMLE.” With spins at 15 monitored stations, “I Will Wait” reaches a new peak at No. 46 in its 10th week on Country Airplay.
The lead single "Ho Hey" ( >> YouTube) is drawn from the Lumineers self-titled album which was released on April 03, 2012 by Dualtone Music Group. The album resides at No.10 on the Bilboard Top 200 selling another 39,335 copies, up 21%, with a total of 940,674. They wowed the crowd at the recent Grammys with a performance of this hit song at the award ceremony, where they were nominated for Best Americana Album and Best New Artist.

*** No. 1 (1 week)*** "Better Dig Two" The Band Perry
** Greatest Gainer  Airpower/Most Increased Audience ** No. 16 "Downtown" Lady Antebellum
15.680 million audience (+3.716 million) / Most increased plays (+669 gain)
** Most added ** No.20  Pirate Flag”  Kenny Chesney
Debut No. 43 "Highway Don't Care" Tim McGraw & Taylor Swift
Debut No. 56 "Fill In The Blank" Greg Bates
Debut No. 59 "Pieces" Gary Allan
Debut No. 60 "Ho Hey" The Lumineers

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of February 23, 2013

Tim McGraw’s duet with label mate Taylor Swift, “Highway Don’t Care”, landed at No.1 with 86,000 fans downloading the track.
The track also features Mr. Keith Urban. Imagine the scene of all three superstars in the studio together. Taylor borrowing Keith's guitar? Keith suggesting a new lyric for Tim? Tim asking Taylor what she wants on her pizza because they're gonna have to work through dinner. Well, guess what? They weren't even in the same room.

"Thank God for modern technology because everybody is so busy," said Tim. "I could just shoot over the track to Keith and he could lay his part down and Taylor could do the same." So with some modern age computer trickery you have a #1 song! Would it have made a difference if they were together? "It's hard to say, but I don't  know how it could be any better," McGraw admitted. "The vocal performance from Taylor was spectacular and Keith's guitar is amazing. I knew I wanted Taylor from the very beginning and Keith and I have been trying to find a way to work together for a long time. This  was the perfect song for all of us.
The Warrens co-wrote “Highway Don’t Care” along with Josh Kear and Mark Irwin. The part they penned for the female’s character was just meant as a radio voice. Brad Warren explained: “The cool thing about that song is that the part we wrote for the girl, she is just the voice on the radio”..... “We really loved that song when we wrote it, and we did write it as a duet,” notes Warren. “Of course you think I want Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift to do this as you’re writing it, but that usually doesn’t work out. So it’s really cool that this was it.”
Lyrics video "Highway Don't Care" >> YouTube

Also making their bow at No.2 with lead-off single “Downtown” is Lady Antebellum from thier fourth album. They sold 72,000 copies.
Boosted by the release of his album Tim McGraw holds the No.3 spot with “One Of Those Nights” selling 72,000 copies (+112% of the previous week)) to bring total sales to 413k.

Kenny Chesney debuts at No.7 on the Billboard Digital Country Singles chart with “Pirate Flag,” his new lead single from his LIFE ON A ROCK record. It sold some 48,000 copies.

Sarah Darling provided the soundtrack to Sean Lowe and Lindsay Yenter’s romantic date with a  featured performance during the February 4 episode of ABC’s The Bachelor. It saw her single “Home To Me” jump up 58 chart slots to No.28. The sales 16,000 meant a 220% retail sales boost.

New at No.24, selling 18K copies, and a No.37 debut on Hot Country songs is “Consider Me” written by: Ashley Monroe and Brendan Benson and performed by Hayden Panettiere (Juliette Barnes) from Nashville Season 1, Episode 12.

USA X Factor 2012 winner Tate Stevens’ Pepsi Commerical single “Holler If You With Me” could only muster a #54 bow despite the Grammy TV ad exposure and Sony publicity.  

Top 30 Digital Singles In Country Music (February 14, 2013)

(LW) Last Week  (TW) This Week 
*Numbers are rounded to nearest 1000th

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