Thursday, 10 March 2016

Country Billboard Chart News February 29, 2016

Country Billboard Chart News February 29, 2016

RIAA Certifications

Multi-Platinum = 2,000,000 plus units
Platinum = 1-million units
Gold = 500,000 units
Note: For ALBUM certifications the RIAA base their figures on the number of units SHIPPED together with, track sales and on demand audio/ video stream units and NOT based purely on traditional retail sales.
1,500 on-demand audio and/or video song streams = 10 track sales = 1 album sale.
150 on-demand streams = 1 track download

Effective Feb. 1, 2016 RIAA now include on-demand audio and video streams and a track sale equivalent in Gold & Platinum (G&P’s) Album Award. 
The modernization of the program’s album rule follows a similar update made to digital single certifications in 2013, when the RIAA first added on-demand streams to its Digital Single Award.  Collectively, this now means that the program’s iconic benchmarks – 500,000 (Gold), 1,000,000 (Platinum) and 2,000,000 plus (multi-Platinum) – will count both sales and streams for single and album certifications.
RIAA set the new Album Award formula of 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video song streams = 10 track sales = 1 album sale.  Also effective RIAA’s Digital Single Award ratio was updated from 100 on-demand streams = 1 download to 150 on-demand streams = 1 download to reflect the enormous growth of streaming consumption in the two plus years since that ratio was set. Just as RIAA announced when setting the initial formula in 2013, our analysis and the determination of a formula is based on comparative consumption patterns, not marketplace value.

Sam Hunt, Chris Stapleton Top RIAA's Country January And February Gold And Platinum Certifications

Sam Hunt's album "MONTEVALLO" and Chris Stapleton's album TRAVELLER topped RIAA's January and February 2016 list of GOLD and PLATINUM honours, among the 158 Digital Single Awards and 74 Album Awards.

Hunt's album "Montevallo" received MULTI-PLATINUM and PLATINUM recognition.

Among the PLATINUM Album Awards weree STAPLETON's "Traveller," LUKE BRYAN's KILL THE LIGHTS, which both also received standard GOLD Album Awards, Carrie Underwood's "Greatest Hits: Decade #1,"
and Miranda Lambert's "PLATINUM."
Brett Eldredge also received a GOLD Album Award for BRING YOU BACK.

Earning digital MULTI-PLATINUM Single Awards were:
Jason Aldean's "Burnin' It Down," and "She's Country,"
Florida Georgia Line's "Stay," and Little Big Town's "Girl Crush."

Receiving Digital PLATINUM Single Awards were:
Aldean's "She's Country," and "Hicktown," Blake Shelton's "Sangria," Chris Young's "I'm Comin' Over,"
Cole Swindell's "Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,"
Florida Georgia Line's "Sippin' On Fire," Thomas Rhett's "Die A Happy Man," Tim McGraw's "Southern Girl," Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck," Rodney Atkins' "If You're Going Through Hell," and Little Big Town's "Girl Crush."
Digital GOLD Single Awards went to:
Hank Williams JR.'s "Family Tradition" and "A Country Boy Can Survive," Tim McGraw's "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools," "Just To See You Smile," and "She's My Kind Of Rain," Randy Houser's "Goodnight Kiss," Dustin Lynch's "Hell Of A Night," Maddie & Tae's "Fly," Cole Swindell's "Let Me See Ya Girl," and Mongtomery Gentry's "Where I Come From."

* NOTE * This comes on the heels of the RIAA's new Album Award methodology for its GOLD and PLATINUM program.
Collectively, this now means that the program’s iconic benchmarks – 500,000 (Gold), 1,000,000 (Platinum) and 2,000,000 plus (multi-Platinum) – will count both sales and streams for single and album certifications.
For a complete list of all RIAA GOLD and PLATINUM Awards, visit www.riaa.com

In Brief: Billboard Country Charts (Chart issue week of March 12, 2016)

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (14 weeks) TRAVELLER Chris Stapleton
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (16 weeks) ** Die A Happy Man” Thomas Rhett
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** “Break on Me” Keith Urban
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 “My Church” (1 week)  Maren Morris

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News (Chart issue week of March 12, 2016)

The Billboard 200 chart measures multi-metric album consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Adele with 25 ruled the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart (BB200) for a tenth non-consecutive week, as it earned another 100,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Feb. 25, according to Nielsen Music. That sum was down 34% compared to the previous week. In terms of pure album sales, it sold 81,000 (down 35%).
25 is just the fifth album released since 2000 to achieve 10 weeks at No.1. It follows Taylor Swift’s 1989 (released in 2014, 11 weeks at No.1), the Frozen soundtrack (2013, 13 weeks), Adele’s 21 (2011, 24 weeks) and Swift’s FEARLESS (2008, 11 weeks).

Billboard Top Country Albums (Chart issue week of March 12, 2016)

Chris Stapleton with TRAVELLER (Mercury Nashville | UMGN) moved 11-5 on Billboard 200 in his 23rd chart frame and returned to the top on Billboard Top Country Albums chart in his 43rd chart frame selling another 43,850 copies (43-week total of 958,000)

In their second chart frame Joey + Rory with HYMNS (Farmhouse/Gaither/Capitol Christian Music Group) which topped Country Albums the previous week slipped 4-8 on the multi-genre Billboard 200 and 1-2 Country selling another 36,963 copies (down 46%on debut week 69,508; 2-week total 106,471). On Billboard’s Music Video chart they placed 3 titles in the top 11 slots:  Hymns: That Are Important To Us was #1 for a second week, Inspired: Songs Of Faith & Family held at #3 Country Classics: A Tapestry Of Our Musical Heritage moved up 14-11

Sam Hunt with MONTEVALLO (MCA Nashville | UMGN) stayed at No.3 Country (12,198 sales; down 33%; 70-week total 1,054,800).
In their second chart frames Vince Gill with DOWN TO MY LAST BAD HABIT (MCA Nashville/Universal Music Group Nashville) fell 35-85 on Billboard 200 & 4-5 Country (7,467 sales; down 57% on debut 17,088; 2-week total 24,600). Wheeler Walker with REDNECK SHIT (Pepper Hill/ Thirty Tigers) fell 9-32 in his second week selling around 1,400 copies.
Wynnona with WYNONNA & THE BIG NOISE (Curb) fell 14-23 Country selling around 2,000 copies.

Veteran pop/rock group Sister Hazel made its Top Country Albums debut, as LIGHTER IN THE DARK (Croakin’ Poets 278) arrived at #79 on BB200, #31 on all genre Top Albums (based on sales) and No.4 Country selling 7,914 copies. The LP also starts at No.3 on Folk Albums and No.12 on Top Rock Albums.

The 14-song set includes a collaboration with another artist that has made the transition to country, Darius Rucker (of Hootie & The Blowfish), who is featured on the set’s “Prettiest Girl at the Dance.”
Alternative rock band Sister Hazel (formed 1993) are from Gainesville, Florida, whose style also blends elements of folk rock, pop, classic rock 'n' roll and southern rock. The band's second album, ...Somewhere More Familiar was released in 1997 and sold approximately 30,000 copies through its initial pressing, prompting Universal Records to sign the band. Although it only peaked at #47 in the U.S., it went on to be platinum selling over a million copies!

Critical reception for Sister Hazel’s Lighter in the Dark :

Allmusic (Rating: 2.1/2 STARS) Taking a cue from their fellow Southern '90s frat-rocker Darius Rucker, Sister Hazel decide to ditch the rock singalongs for country singalongs on 2016's Lighter in the Dark...Sister Hazel hedge their bets, never quite ready to abandon their tempered folk-rock for the Florida Georgia Line. To be sure, they'll emulate FGL -- the chanted chorus on the good-time "We Got It All Tonight" isn't a million miles away from "Get Your Shine On"... Lighter in the Dark feels suited to the arena rock referenced in the title: it's music for the masses at a festival show. The ironic thing is, the two times Sister Hazel ease themselves
into traditional country-rock -- on the burnished "Prettiest Girl at the Dance," which brings to mind prime Eagles, and the livelier "Run Highway Run" -- are clearly the best things here, which only makes this seem like a lost opportunity: if they defined country through the prism of the '70s and not the 2010s, they would've wound up with a better album.

Digital Journal (Rating: 4.5 STARS)...Overall, Sister Hazel stuns on their latest album, Lighter In the Dark. They prove that they are like fine wine, where they only get better with age. It is a highly eclectic project and it displays their wide versatility as a musical group. Their vocals are reminiscent of Zac Brown Band meets Uncle Kracker.

Austin-based artist, Sam Riggs, released his much anticipated sophomore album BREATHLESS made a debut at No.168 on Billboard 200 and No.12 Country selling 3,801 copies.

It scored an immediate #3 debut on the iTunes Country Music Chart following right behind Chris Stapleton and Sam Hunt. Apple Music Country also posted about the new album  saying, “We’re eager to spend some time with this new music from Floridian-turned-Texan Sam Riggs. We love the first single ‘The Lucky Ones.’” – Press Release

“Breathless” is the first album to be released on Riggs’ own label (Deep Creek Records) with marketing and distribution through Thirty Tigers/Sony RED.  Website
Sam spent his big release night in front of his fans at the legendary Floore’s Country Store in Helotes, Texas.
You don’t hear the story too often: An artist moves to Texas and receives the warm reception and regional success of a Lone Star native.
Artists like Adam Hood, Chris Knight, Slaid Cleaves and Rob Baird have all experienced measurable fame after becoming Texas transplants. With his first album—Outrun the Sun, released in 2013—Sam made a considerable amount of noise in the Red Dirt scene, earning him sold-out shows, a growing fan base, increased social media awareness, Spotify streams in the millions, Texas regional music awards and, eventually, national television opportunities. Sam produced his new album with Eric Herbst (Eli Young Band, Ray Johnston Band) and the extremely listenable end project seems the perfect vehicle to slingshot the young artist to mainstream success - Country Weekly (11 Feb)
We got tremendous support on the last album from fans and media. This incredible buzz started getting ramped up and show attendance started to sky rocket. People really latched on to it.” Everybody loves a good “rags-to-riches” story. Nothing seems to inspire the masses quite as well as the story about the underdog with the larger-than-life dream that finds the path of opportunity and emerges triumphant against the odds. Sam Riggs has just such a story, and in his version, it was his move from his native Florida to Austin, Texas that was the dream....In total, “Breathless” is the sound you hear clearly above the racket of mediocrity, and it signals that a new age of “artist” has arrived. Bio
Sam Riggs - An Inside Look At Breathless


Critical reception for Sam Riggs’ Breathless:

Roughstock The album’s opener and lead single (in Texas) “The Lucky Ones” feels ready to compete with anything being released via major labels in Nashville as Riggs showcases his strong vocal, a vocal which often draws comparisons to Lonestar’s Richie McDonald…."Breathless" is a stunning collection of songs which has us boldly announcing the arrival of the next great country star. The lyrics of “The Lucky Ones” tell a story of the small town kids who weren’t a part of a school clique, the ones who were “Raised up to be fighters” and they were “hell bent and full of fire” and “did everything to keep our dream alive.” Pretty much he’s talking about anyone who didn’t fit in because they chased music or other pursuits. It’s a strong opening and sets Breathless on a course that only gets stronger throughout the album’s 11 tracks..., he has written songs which not only work for him on record and in a live setting
but with Breathless he’s honed in on who he is as an artist. Yes, there’s parts of influential sounds throughout Breathless but they all work tremendously well together. If any artist in Texas is ready for mainstream country success whose still not “known” nationally, it’s Sam Riggs as Breathless proves.

Sam Riggs attacks Breathless with an unapologetic big-production gusto that ignores the distinctions between modern mainstream country and his singer-songwriter roots. The result is a widescreen, sonically insistent album with the potential to either draw in open-minded fans of both or turn off folks who don’t think the gap can be bridged...Riggs sticks the landing more often than he loses his footing. — Mike Ethan Messick Lonestar Music Magazine

Year-To-Date Albums
3,377,000 (Physical sales 2,174,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 1,202,000 (down -18.0%)) which is 11.8% down at the same point in 2015 (3,828,000 sales)
Year-To-Date Digital Tracks

14,109,000 down 22.4% at the same point in 2015 (18,179,000)

Billboard Hot Country Songs (Chart issue week of March 12, 2016)

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, (tracked by Nielsen BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music, among others) according to BDS it results in:

SWEET SIXTEEN On Hot Country Songs, Thomas Rhett with “Die a Happy Man” (Valory) held at No.1 spot for a 16th week (the last 15 in succession). The song was tied for the third-most weeks at No.1, dating to the chart’s 1958 inception as an all-encompassing genre ranking, with Buck Owens’ “Love’s Gonna Live Here” (1963). Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” (2012-13) reigned with 24 weeks on  top, followed by Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk On By” (19 weeks, 1961).

Hot County Songs

** No.1 (16 weeks) ** “Die A Happy Man” Thomas Rhett
** Airplay Gainer ** No.6 “Break On Me” Keith Urban
** Digital & Streaming Gainer ** No.29 “Used To Love You Sober” Kane Brown
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.47 “Power Of Positive Drinkin'” Chris Janson
Debut No.48 “Lovin' Lately” Big & Rich featuring Tim McGraw

Billboard Country Airplay (Chart issue week of March 12, 2016)

Keith Urban with “Break on Me” (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville) vaulted 6-1 to become his 19th No.1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart (dated March 12).
The song surged by 12% to 44.6 million audience impressions in the tracking week, according to Nielsen Music.
Upon hearing the news, Urban told Billboard, “I’m amazed, I’m touched, and I’m deeply moved by these 19 No. 1s. All I can say is wow and thanks to country radio and Capitol. I’m so grateful that I get to do what I do. I love it more and more. I want to say thank you to my father, too. He put country music in my blood. I wish he were here to see this.”
Urban’s No.1s sum lifts him into a tie for fifth place with Brad Paisley for the most Country Airplay leaders in the chart’s 26-year history, passing Garth Brooks (18). Tim McGraw leads with 27, followed by Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and George Strait (26 each); Blake Shelton (21); and Brooks & Dunn and Toby Keith (20 each).
“Break” made the biggest jump to the top this decade and the greatest since Rascal Flatts’ “Here Comes Goodbye” also roared 6-1 on April 25, 2009. Ricky Van Shelton boasts the biggest positional surge to No.1 in the chart’s archives, having hurtled 9-1 with “Keep It Between the Lines” (Oct. 12, 1991).
Penned by Ross Copperman and Jon Nite, “Break” is the second single from Urban’s forthcoming album RIPCORD. Launch track “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” peaked at No.2 on both Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs. Back as a celebrity judge for the final season of Fox’s American Idol (with Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr.), Urban is gearing up for his Ripcord World Tour, beginning June 2 in Kansas City, Mo., and featuring opening acts Maren Morris and Brett Eldredge.
Urban first reached No. 1 on Country Airplay with “But for the Grace of God” in 2001 and has maintained his clout since. “There’s no question that the songs that Keith records are the most important reason for his success. But he is a big factor, too,” WWQM Madison, Wis., PDFletcher Keyes told Billboard. “Artistically, he weaves from one lane to another, in a positive and exciting way. He’s also ever-present in other media with a positive, caring persona.”
Adds Universal Music Group Nashville chairman/CEO Mike Dungan, “Keith continues to bring fresh, challenging, game-changing life to everything he does.”

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (1 week)/ Most Increased Audience *** "Break On Me” Keith Urban 44.625 million audience (+4.730 million) / 8,275 radio plays (+1210)
** Most Added ** No.34 “Record Year” Eric Church (32 ADDS)
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.58 “Make You Miss Me” Sam Hunt
Debut No.59 “Make You Mine” High Valley
Debut No.60 “Daddy’s Money” Brooke Eden

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart (Chart issue week of March 12, 2016)

It was High Praise on Country Digital Songs as Maren Morris lifted 4-1 with her debut single, “My Church” (Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville) (up #27-18 Digital Songs; 34,413 sales; down 2%; 7-week total 179,857)
The country music anthem is Morris’ first No.1 on a Billboard songs chart. According to Nielsen Music (via Sony Music Nashville)
It has additionally amassed over 7.4 million streams.
Says SMN executive vp promotion/artist development Steve Hodges, “When the perfect storm aligns, it’s fun to watch a hit rise to the top. The audience is reacting [to “Church”], then buying it”
As The Grammy buzz started to fade:
Thomas Rhett held at #2 with "Die A Happy Man" up 23-20 of all genre Digital Songs (30,761 sales; down 23%; 23-week total 1,181,026).
Cole Swindell with “You Should Be Here” rose 5-3 (29,697 sales; down 4%; #31-20 Digital Songs; 11-week total 312,984)
Carrie Underwood with “Heartbeat” was down 3-4 (24,696 sales; down 33% with a 16-week total 245,268)
Tim McGraw with “Humble And Kind” climbed 10-5 (24,191 sales; up 20%; 6-week total 123,152)
Brett Eldredge with “Drunk On Your Love” rose 8-6 (23,361 sales; down 3%; 47-34 Digital songs; 12-week total 216,472)
Sam Hunt with "Break Up in a Small Town" dropped 6-7 (21,770 sales; down 24%; #40-37 Digital Songs; 58-week total 1,176,260)

Last weeks’ No.1 Little Big Town with “Girl Crush” fell 1-11 it sold 17,438 copies (down 64%; Digital songs 17-50; 61-week total of 2,075,809)

Outside The Top 30 Notes
At #40: Morgane & Chris Stapleton debuts with 5K sales

Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

29 February 2016

Congrats to Keith Urban, Royce Risser, Shane Allen, David Friedman and the entire Capitol promotion staff on earning
this week’s No.1 with “Break On Me.” The song is Urban’s 20th chart-topper on the R&R/Mediabase/Country Aircheck charts.
The song logged 8,365 radio spins (+1177) and 58.517 million audience impressions (+6.558) with 27239 Total Points from 157 tracking stations for the tracking week February 21 to February 27, 2016 and published chart February 29th 2016.

Kudos to Jimmy Rector and the EMI Nashville crew on notching 46 adds for Brothers Osborne’s 21 Summer,” topping the week’s "Most Added" board.
The mark is a three-peat for the label, which topped the board the last two weeks with Eric Church.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 488 - February 29, 2016 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here - www.mediabase.com



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