Thursday, 28 February 2013

Country Billboard Chart News February 21, 2013

Country Billboard Chart News February 21, 2013

With the recent TV exposure from the 55th Annual Grammy Awards saw Mumford & Sons who won Album of the Year (Feb 10) as the biggest gainers as they made a grammy-fueled return to No. 1 on Top Billboard Top 200. As benefitting were Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, The Lumineers who also received Grammy bumps in the Top 10.
Mumford & Sons' "Babel" sold 184,957 copies up a massive 242% on the previous week to reach a total of 1,921,852.
Sale pricing by the iTunes Store -- for Valentine's Day -- helped push "Babel's" sales even bigger than expected. "Babel" was marked down to $6.99 for a limited time by iTunes and was featured in an email promotion campaign to its customers. Of the 184,957 copies the album scored a 260% gain in download sales -- moving from 28,000 to 101,000 for the week. (The largest digital week for a non-debuting album since the week after Christmas, when Taylor Swift's "Red" sold 131,000 downloads.)
Taylor Swift
Brit Awards 2013

Taylor Swift, who opened the Grammys with a circus themed "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," rose 12-4 with RED (71,953 ; up 106%). Her set which has now reached 3,435,748 sales in America alone, also gained thanks to hefty promotion by Target stores. The retailer ran a TV commercial during the Grammys, touting its exclusive version of "Red." Additionally, it was featured in a Target weekly circular ad. Of "Red's" sales the previous week, a whopping 86% were attributed to physical albums.
Recently her worldwide sales for “Red” had reached a total of 4,671,000.

In her 17th week on the chart Taylor’s RED swapped places on the Billboard Country Chart with last weeks No.1 TWO LANES OF FREEDOM from Tim McGraw. In the second retail week it sold 46,598, down 56%, to reach a 2-week tally of 153,313 for the now Big Machine artist.
McGraw’s final Curb album (of original material) “Emotional Traffic” sold 297,000 over the course of 56 weeks on the charts.

Hunter Hayes’ big Grammy Award debut and 6 ACM Award nominations resulted in a bounce on the Top 200 moving 27-17 and 5-3 on the Country chart. His sales of his self-titled album were 33,428, up 80% to reach 635,116. Sales of his single “Wanted” gained him No.1 slots on Hot Country Songs and the Billboard Country Digital Chart.
Country Group Grammy Winners Little Big Town saw their album TORNADO move up on the charts (24,610; up 33%). With 725,844 copies sold to date it is fast heading to become the band’s best-selling album.
Carrie Underwood’s Grammy Award victory in the country category for her “Blown Away” single saw sales for the album go up 70% (23,802 sold; 1,308,396 total) in her 42nd chart week, moving 8-6 on the country chart.

The Zac Brown Band, Grammy Winners for Best Country Album drew a 116% increase for their album UNCAGED (16,814 sales; 786,378 total) to move back into the Top 10 on the country placings. Brown also contributed to  the Levon Helm tribute on the live award show.

Eclectic country/rockers Connor Christian & Southern Gothic garner their first national chart ink with NEW HOMETOWN (Vintage Earth). It drew double Hot Shot Debut applause, opening atop Heatseekers and at No. 17 on Top Country Albums.
In it’s first week at retail it sold 4,445 copies to land at No.127 on the Top 200 Bilboard chart.
Cited as being “on the verge” in Billboard’s 2012 “Best Bets” live entertainment spotlight (Jan. 21, 2012), Christian’s band is touring in support of the album’s lead single, “Sheets Down,” which premiered Jan. 16 on  
The band comprises of: Christian (vocals, guitar, keys, harmonica), Joe Abramson (bass, vocals), Shawn Thacker (drums, vocals), Jeff Spirko (guitar, fiddle, banjo, piano,mandolin, vocals) and  Elena Martin (fiddle, keys, mandolin, vocals)
Released on Feb 12, 2013 on Rocket Science / Vintage Earth Records CCSG’s “New Hometown” is a winded album with 18 tracks (1:16:33)  but “New Hometown” seems to reinforce the notion that more isn’t always better writes

Extract: “New Hometown” attempts to blend what sounds like southern rock, gospel and country into a cohesive album. It’s hard to put a label on exactly what feel the album takes on. This can often be a good thing, meaning an album has diversity or mixes genres well, but in the case of “New Hometown,” the components don’t quite come together.
There is no lack of musical talent within the album. Christian’s voice has a raspy quality that fits well into most of the songs. The hoarse tone adds emotion the louder Christian sings, and is refreshing to hear from the type of music played on the album.
The musicianship is also one of the better elements of the album. Songs like “Fiddler” display some truly exceptional skills. The band has no lack of talent, which makes it difficult to believe that on an album with 18 tracks, very few are actually good songs.......Equal parts modern troubadour, back road poet and outlaw rocker, Connor Christian & Southern Gothic creates gritty, soulful songs of experience revealing solace in hardship, hope in destitution, and a dustbowl sensibility. Their powerful music draws on influences ranging from Ryan Adams, G. Love, and Counting Crows to The Band and Tumbleweed Connection-era Elton John, and makes a heartfelt statem...ent found at the crossroads of Roots Rock and Americana.

AOL’s The Boot writes: The upbeat, Cajun-flavored romp is part of an eclectic, 18-song track list that mixes each of the five bandmate's roots, which span from Rome, Ga., to Los Angeles to Russia.
"We've traveled the world," lead singer Connor Christian explains. "We find the people, the stories -- there's always something familiar, no matter where we go. So when we get to play songs that are shaped by those people and those places, somehow it always feels like we are home, no matter where we are."
During the Atlanta, Ga., based band's travels, they have shared the stage with country acts such as the Zac Brown Band, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Big & Rich and Gloriana, just to name a few.

Check out the Official video for the single "Sheets Down" >> YouTube
Top tracks:
Sheets Down, Only Need You, November Rain, (She's) My Salvation, Back in Dixie,
South Texas Sun
Available from:

The 48th best selling country album (including catalog listed albums) and making their No.29 bow on the Billboard Country Chart is the 13-track (45:55 mins) , CHEATER'S GAME from Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison. The album which was funded by a Kickstarter Campaign (Video) sold 2,835 copies on its debut week.
Kelly Willis &  Bruce Robison
Album artwork

Neither Kelly Willis or hubby Bruce Robison had made a record since 2008. The singer/songwriters both took time out from touring and the studio recording to raise children. They have collaborated on each another's projects before but “Cheater's Game” marks their first as a duo.
The album produced by Brad Jones was recorded in Nashville with a small band in an “intimate, retro, '70s style; the album is warm, inviting, and features a seamless meld of the duo's voices”.
The 13-song offering features seven new Robison tunes and the remainder is made up of songs by some contemporary songwriters, and a couple from Nashville legends (Hayes Carll, Dave Alvin and Robert Earl Keen)

Cheater's Game is an excellent welcome back. It's organic, relaxed, unforced approach is deceptively high in performance skill, yet resonates with an emotional depth that rings true throughout. The listener can only hope they do this again soon
Its described on Amazon as:
 The first 'really must buy' CD of 2013 in the alt-country/Americana genre”.....Cheater’s Game is quiet and reflective, which is not to suggest “boring,” by any means. It covers a broad spectrum of emotions and styles, from the touching title tune to the snappy “Border Radio” and the aching “Dreamin’,” written by Bruce and Miles Zuniga of Fastball, which might remind a certain generation of The Everly Brothers. The top cut comes with Hayes Carll’s “Long Way Home,” a finely detailed, compassionate journey through a broken soul.

Watch a live performance of "Cheater's Game" >> YouTube
Available from:

Billboard Top 200  (Issue dated Chart week of March 2, 2013)

(Country Album positions #1 - #25)

(TW) This Week, (LW) Last Week, Co (Country Album Chart placing / Movement

#1 CDS: These were the top selling Country Albums in 2008, 2003, 1998, 1993, and 1988:
2008: Taylor Swift-Taylor Swift-Big Machine
2003: Home-Dixie Chicks-Monument
1998: Come On Over-Shania Twain-Mercury
1993: Some Gave All-Billy Ray Cyrus-Mercury
1988: Always & Forever-Randy Travis-Warner Bros

Who will land the top seller in 2013?

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of March 2, 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 with “Wanted” stays at No.1 in its second straight (and third cumulative) week at the summit since its release in 2012.
He gained points with a YouTube spike and added Greatest Gainer nods for streaming and digital surges.
It also gined a 29% increase in sales for the track making it country musics top seller in this chart week.

The addition of U.S. YouTube data shuffled the top 10 on Hot Country Songs, probably due to fans following up on artists who performed at the recent Grammy awards. The beneficiaries were Carrie Underwood’sBlown Away” which vaulted 19-10 (its first top 10 rank since the Jan. 19 chart) following a No. 2 peak on the Oct. 27, 2012, tally, and her “Two Black Cadillacs” set a new peak with an 8-4 leap

YouTube’s introduction into the streaming mix also lifts Taylor Swift’sWe Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” 14-9. That track began a 10-week run atop the chart dated Oct. 20, 2012, the same issue the chart rankings converted from the core country radio audience to a hybrid mix of digital, streaming and an expanded Nielsen BDS-monitored radio panel.

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of March 2, 2013)

Hunter Hayes with “Wanted” stays at the Top The Chart, at #1
Blake Shelton with “Sure Be Cool If You Did” is up two slot, #4 - #2
The Band Perry with former #1 “Better Dig Two” drop one slot, #2 - #3
Carrie Underwood with “Two Black Cadillacs” is up 4 places, #8 - #4
Tim McGraw with “One Of Those Nights” is down two, #3 - #5
Gary Allan with former #1, “Every Storm” (Runs Out Of Rain) is down, #5 - #6
Florida Georgia Line with former #1 “Cruise” stays at #7
Little Big Town with “Tornado” is up two notches, #10 - #8
Taylor Swift with former #1 ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is up, #14 -#9
Carrie Underwood with “Blown Away”, jumps up 9 slots, #19 - #10
Hunter Hayes with “Somebody’s Heartbreak” stays at #11
Lady Antebellum with “Downtown” drops down six places, #6 - #12 
Lee Brice with “I Drive Your Truck” is up two, #15 - #13
Jason Aldean (w Luke Bryan & Eric Church) and “The Only Way I Know” drops #9 - #14
Taylor Swift with “Begin Again” is up six places, #21 - #15
Miranda Lambert with “Mama’s Broken Heart” is up six, #22 -#16
Kacey Musgraves with “Merry Go ‘Round” is up,  #18 - #17
Dierks Bentley with “Tip It On Back” is down one slot,  #17 - #18
Kenny Chesney with “Pirate Flag” is up one place, #20 - #19
Florida Georgia Line with “Get Your Shine On” is up three, #23 - #20
Randy Houser with “How Country Feels” drops five places, #16 - #21
George Strait with “Give It All We Got Tonight” is up three slots, #25 - #22
Thompson Square with “If I Didn’t Have You” is up one,  #24 - #23
Brad Paisley with “Southern Comfort Zone” falls twelve slots, #12 - #24
Darius Rucker  with “Wagon Wheel” moves up two, #27 - #25

Hot Country Songs
*** No. 1 (3 weeks)  Greatest Gainer/Digital & Streaming ***  “Wanted” Hunter Hayes
** No. 19 Greatest Gainer Airplay ** “Pirate Flag”  Kenny Chesney
** Hot Shot Debut  **  No. 48  “Casino”  Clare Bowen & Sam Palladio

Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of March 2, 2013

The Band Perry scores a second week atop the Nielsen BDS-driven Country Airplay chart with “Better Dig Two” (Republic Nashville), which bullets with an increase of 850,000 audience impressions. The sibling trio’s “All Your Life” also stayed for two weeks in February 2012 and reigned for one week with “If I Die Young” in December 2010. If “Better” holds on for a third week, it will be their biggest hit.
Top local audience contributors during the second chart-topping week are: KKGO Los Angeles (1.4 million impressions), WUSN Chicago (1.2 million), KILT Houston (782,000), KKBQ Houston (781,000) and WYCD Detroit (760,000).
Billboard Country Airplay Top 10

With the chart’s second-largest audience spike, Blake Shelton logs his second-fastest top 10 climb with “Sure Be Cool If You Did” (Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville), which gains 2.8 million impressions and steps 11-10 in its seventh week on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.
Shelton made his quickest top 10 ascent when “Honey Bee” reached the upper tier in its sixth week on the May 28, 2011, chart. Four weeks later, “Bee” started a four-week stay at No. 1. Conversely, Shelton’s slowest top 10 climb was 28 weeks with “Nobody But Me” seven years ago—it peaked at No. 4 on the May 15, 2006, Country Airplay tally. With a career average of 15 weeks to reach the top 10, “Cool” is Shelton’s 16th top 10. A dozen of those songs reached No. 1, while the lowest peak was achieved by Shelton’s cover of Conway Twitty’s “Goodbye Time” when it stopped at No. 10 in 2005.
Shelton hasn’t needed more than 11 weeks to reach the top 10 since “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking” needed 18 weeks in January 2011

Kenny Chesney ’s  Pirate Flag” (Blue Chair/Columbia Nashville) takes the Greatest Gainer nod, rising 20-16. it drew a +3.348 audience gain (in millions) with Increased plays hitting a +635 Gain.

Kip Moore’sHey Pretty Girl” bagged the most added tag with 20 station adds and an 4.699 (+1.321 gain)  audience (in millions) and secured plays of 900 (+238)

Miranda Lambert landed her fourth top 20 hit from the FOUR THE RECORD set. “Mama's Broken Heart” made the #18 slot. The other 3 singles spawned three top tens:  “Baggage Claim” (2011; #3), CMA Song of the Year “Over You” (2012; #1)  and “ Fastest Girl In Town” (2012; #3) .
Lambert’s album REVOLUTION, which as a catalog album sold 3,305 copies this week (+66%; 1,593,114 total) also garnered 4  hits: “White Liar” (2010; #2), “ The House That Built Me” (2010; #1), “Only Prettier” (2010; #12) and “Heart Like Mine” (2011; #1)

Country Airplay  Feb 19, 2013
*** No. 1 (2 weeks) *** "Better Dig Two" The Band Perry 
** Airpower/Most Increased Audience ** No. 16 "Pirate Flag" Kenny Chesney
** Most Added ** "Hey Pretty Girl" No.29  Kip Moore 
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.56 "Runnin' Outta Moonlight"  Randy Houser
Debut No. 58 "Playin With Fire" Katie Armiger
Debut No. 59 "Cheat On You"  Big & Rich
Debut No. 60 "1994" Jason Aldean

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of March 2, 2013

Hunter Hayes performance on the Grammy Awards and significant spins on Mainstream Top 40 stations pushed “Wanted” to No. 1 in its 47th week on Country Digital Songs (5-1), marking the longest No. 1 climb since the chart launched three years ago.
Previously, the longest chart-topping ascent was 24 weeks, noted when the Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” reached No. 1 in December 2010, and repeated in October 2011 when Rodney Atkins’ “Take a Back Road” reigned in its 24th week. Hayes also nabs the percentage-based Pacesetter trophy on Top Country Albums with Live (EP), which sells 3,000 (up 274%) and shoots 62-30.
Hunter sold 84,379 copies, up 31% to take “Wanted” to a 2,646,142 download tally.

Blake Shelton’s lead single “Sure Be Cool If You Did” from his forthcoming album BASED ON A TRUE STORY moved 4-2 selling 74,007 copies, up 10%, to reach 427,794.

Dazzling Grammy viewers with both her LED dress and performance saw Carrie Underwood land two singles in the Top five. “Two Black Cadillacs” sold 59,961 copies (+42%/ 420,443 total) which is the highest placement for the single and joining it at No.5 was “Blown Away” with another 54,919 fans (+52%) buying the track to now reach 1,903,008.

An indifferent week for Tim McGraw as his latest single “One Of Those Nights,” stayed in the Top 10 at No. 6 with 51,854 copies sold (-28%) but last week’s #1 Digital single “Highway Don’t Care” took a huge tumble selling 24,671, down a massive 71% compared to his chart topping week of 85,881. Despite being joined by Taylor Swift and Keith Urban on the track it fell 20 places from #1 to #21.

Lady Antebellum’s lead single “Downtown” from GOLDEN dropped 2-7 selling 47,191 copies which was  a loss of 35% in its 2nd retail week to reach 119,549

There are 2 “Wagon Wheels” in the Top 30 this week with Darius Rucker at #20 and the original cut by the Old Crow Medicine Show moved 36-30. Darius has sold 165,000 copies in 6 chart weeks of his 2013

The only new song on the Top 50 was Eric Church with his latest radio single “Like Jesus Does” (Captitol Nashville). It sold 12,821 copies, up 41% to make its bow at No.33.

Top 30 Digital Singles In Country Music (February 21, 2013)

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


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