Thursday, 10 March 2016

Country Billboard Chart News March 7, 2016

Country Billboard Chart News March 7, 2016

In Brief: Billboard Country Charts (Chart issue week of March 19, 2016)

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (15 weeks) TRAVELLER Chris Stapleton
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (17 weeks) ** Die A Happy Man” Thomas Rhett
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** “We Went” Randy Houser
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 “My Church” (2 weeks) Maren Morris

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News (Chart issue week of March 19, 2016)

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

The 1975 Earns First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart
3/6/2016 by Keith Caulfield
Alternative band The 1975 scored its first No.1 album on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart (BB200), as its second full-length effort, “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware”, debuted atop the list. The set earned 108,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 3, according to Nielsen Music. It sold 98,164 in pure album sales.
Not only is I Like It When You Sleep the first chart-topper for The 1975, but it’s also the first top 10 set for the British group, whose self-titled debut album bowed and peaked at No. 28 on the Sept. 21, 2013-dated chart. On the latest Billboard 200, The 1975 returned to the list at No.140 (5,000 units; up 25 percent), for its 71st non-consecutive week on the chart. The set has sold 349,000 and has remained a steady weekly seller since its arrival. Comparatively, it took 26 weeks for The 1975 to sell what I Like It When You Sleep sold in its first week.
The new album is also No.1 in the band’s homeland, as it bows atop the Official U.K. Albums Chart. The 1975 follows such recent British acts as David Bowie, Adele, Muse and Florence + The Machine, who all also simultaneously debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and the Official U.K. Albums Chart with their latest releases.

Bonnie Raitt with her new 12 track album DIG IN DEEP (Redwing Records; Amazon UK - UK iTunes - ) arrived at No.11 on the Billboard 200, No7 on Top Selling albums and No.1 on Billboard Folk Albums after selling 32,095 copies (32,966 equivalent album units).
Watch "Gypsy In Me" (Official Lyric Video) >> YouTube
It marked her twentieth album, on Redwing Records, her own, independent label. The record follows Bonnie's hugely successful 2012 release 'Slipstream', which was one of the best-selling independent albums of 2012 and earned Bonnie a GRAMMY for Best Americana Album - her tenth career GRAMMY win. Critical acclaim:
American Songwriter (Rating: 4 STARS)
Raitt kicks off with the swampy “Unintended Consequence of Love,” a co-write with keyboardist Jon Cleary that plays to her sweet spot, leaving room for her typically sizzling
slide guitar that seems to have gotten tougher with age. She gets down and funky on a surprisingly effective cover of INXS’s hit “Need You Tonight” as the lyrics slither out with all the sex and sass baked into them. She tears into a Stones styled rocker “The Comin’ Round is Going Through” with more punch than artists half her age and takes us down to the bluesy bayou on the grinding “Gypsy in Me.” Raitt also excels at lovelorn ballads and she’s in terrific voice on the bittersweet “All Alone with Something to Say,” Bonnie Bishop’s similarly lyrically styled “Undone,” and the regretful closing weeper “The Ones We Couldn’t Be” where she accompanies herself on piano....Between the quality of the songs (five written or co-penned by Raitt, an unusually high number), the relaxed yet taut performances and Bonnie’s characteristic smooth whisky drawl, the appropriately titled Dig In Deep is another distinguished and near perfect entry into a classy, bulging catalog that has seen few missteps.

Willie Nelson with Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin his new 11 track album ( Amazon UK - made a debut at No.40 On the Billboard 200 and No.1 on Billboard Jazz Albums (Chart dated March 19, 2016) with 13,172 pure album sales. It did not therefore appear on the Country listings.
“If you have some non-country fans over this is the album to play for a dinner party - (Duncan Warwick editor Country Music People)
Watch >> “Someone to Watch Over Me” and "Summertime" on Vevo

Willie Nelson's new album of pop standards, penned by America's legendary songwriting duo George and Ira Gershwin, follows the selection of Willie as the 2015 recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Among the 11 Gershwin classics recorded by Willie Nelson for his new album are two duets: "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off" with Cyndi Lauper (the song was originally introduced by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the 1937 film Shall We Dance) and "Embraceable You" with Sheryl Crow (the song was performed by Ginger Rogers in Girl Crazy, recorded by Billie Holiday in 1944 and inducted into the Grammy Hall
of Fame in 2005).

Billboard Top Country Albums (Chart issue week of March 19, 2016)

Chris Stapleton with his Platinum-certified TRAVELLER (Mercury Nashville | UMGN) slipped 5-7 on Billboard 200 in his 24th chart frame and remained top on Billboard Top Country Albums chart in his 44th chart frame selling another 33,990 copies (44-week total of 991,700)

In their third chart frame Joey + Rory with former No.1 HYMNS (Farmhouse/Gaither/Capitol Christian Music Group)
slipped 8-10 on the multi-genre Billboard 200 and held at #2 Country selling another 32,408 copies (down 12%; 3-week total 138,300). The album may possibly return to #1 next week following the March 5th announcement of Joey Martin Feek's sad passing.
On Billboard’s Music Video Chart Hymns: That Are Important To Us was #1 for a third week.

HYMNS landed in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Music Video chart and on the Christian Video chart.  In addition, the audio recording took the No. 4 spot on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. - Rory stated, "When the label called to give us the news I immediately took the phone in to Joey.  This recording was 'hers' from the beginning.  This is one that she has always wanted to make, and she's worked so hard to make it happen, in spite of the difficult circumstances she is facing.  As I congratulated her, she responded through tears, 'No, Honey, this is God's record....'"
President of Gaither Music Group Barry Jennings stated, "When we first started working with Joey+Rory a few years ago Rory said, 'I want to live a story.'  Well, what a 'story' he and Joey have lived, perhaps not the one they wanted, but a story that has touched countless lives around the world.  We have all been changed by their 'story' and are so honored to have been a small part of this project."

Old Dominion with debut major-label full-length MEAT AND CANDY (RCA Nashville/Sony Music Nashville), rode the wave of a $3.99 sale at both iTunes and GooglePlay stores to jump 109-35 on the BB200 and 20-3 Country, the band's new high water mark for their debut album via RCA Records and Tapes. It sold another 10,193 copies (up 340%) to log a 17-week tally of 79,900. It first opened with 21,000 copies (No.5; chart dated Nov. 28, 2015).

Sam Hunt with MONTEVALLO (MCA Nashville | UMGN) fell 16-25 BB200 & 3-4 Country (8,802 sales; down 20; 71-week total 1,063,600).

Chuck Wicks with his new album TURNING POINT (Blaster Records), his second studio album, made a debut at No.167 on Billboard 200 and No.12 Country selling 3,676 copies.
It includes the singles "Salt Life", "Us Again", "Saturday Afternoon", "I Don't Do Lonely Well" (which was previously recorded by Jason Aldean on his 2012 album, Night Train) and "She's Gone”.
Watch the video for "Us Again."

Critical reception for Chuck Wicks’ Turning Point:
11 Tracks/ Time: 40:00 Amazon UK - UK iTunes -

Country Weekly (Rating: B+) Most of that continuity comes from Chuck’s velvety vocals. One of the finest singers in the format, it’s about more than range, pitch and tone with Chuck.
His tender tenor is emotive, whether in the soaring single, “She’s Gone,” the pleading “Us Again” or the waltzy standout track “Whole Damn Thing.”...Whether fast or slow, happy or heartbroken, Chuck does love well.
Really well. Better than most fellas in the format. That makes it even more puzzling that there are weird studio effects applied to a voice that is about as close to perfection as you can get on “Whatcha Got Girl,” but, in his defense, it’s also the most sonically and lyrically connected to what’s happening on country radio today . . . be that for better or worse.

Sounds Like Nashville (Rating: Positive)..../Chuck Wicks is back with Turning Point, his first full-length album in eight years. In actuality, though, he never really left. The singer-songwriter and co-host of NashFM’s America’s Morning Show has continued writing songs and getting cuts over the past few years by artists including Jason Aldean, Frankie Ballard, Steve Holy and The Swon Brothers....Turning Point showcases Wicks’ growth as a vocalist and songwriter, as he co-wrote each of the 11 songs on the album. Additionally, he co-produced the record with friend Andy Dodd. ...A solid release, Turning Point marks a triumphant return for Wicks. Only his sophomore album, the 11 tracks combine his songwriting skills with his emotive vocals for a release that will satisfy longtime fans who have been waiting eight years for new music from the singer.

Digital Journal (Rating: A)... it is a solid musical project....It opens with the laid-back, mid-tempo tune "She's Gone" and it is followed by "Fix Me," which has a modern edge to it. He showcases his rich and impressive vocals on the orchestral ballad "Us Again."...He tackles the subject matter of loneliness effectively well on the polished ballad "I Don't Do Lonely Well." .... Another noteworthy ballad is "Always," while "Watcha Got Girl" is more fun and sassy, which has a bro-country vibe to it

Outside the Top 25 Country Albums
In their second chart frames Sister Hazel with LIGHTER IN THE DARK (Croakin’ Poets 278) slumped 4-48 Country following their debut selling 7,914 copies. Austin-based artist, Sam Riggs, with BREATHLESS fell off the top 50 after a No.12 Country debut (3,801 sales)

Hailing from Brandon, FL Soul Circus Cowboys with their 11 track set TAILGATE COUNTRY (Diamondisc Records; UK iTunes - ) made a debut at No.45 Country selling 700 copies.

Blurb: When the sum total is greater than the individual parts, it’s called “synergy” or in this case, “The Soul Circus Cowboys.” 

Their diverse life experiences and eclectic blend of musical styles combine to create a truly unique new band with a sound that is all their own. Soul Circus Cowboys are four extremely talented individuals, Billy McKnight; vocals, band leader and songwriter, Jason Alfano; drummer, Michael Bach; bass, vocals and Rick Morgan on guitar.

Gene Watson with his new album REAL COUNTRY (CD of the Month in UKs Country Music People Magazine) sold just 400 copies and did not appear on the Top 50 Country albums.

Critics had been raving about the country legend’s 33rd studio album: - 
The best thing about the new Gene Watson album is that it's a new Gene Watson album. Check out his covering a couple of low key classics such as Kris Kristofferson's "Enough For You" and "Help Me," an Elvis Presley charmer.” - Huffington Post, Mike Ragogna
"The fourteen carat mind that crafted 'Love in the Hot Afternoon' shows that he's just as capable of polished pathos as ever with Real.Country.Music - an album that takes Watson fans into the tumultuous waters of lost love and through the ringer. It's as iconic an album as one could hope to make, bucking the artificial followers of the genre to make room for those in search of sympathetic songs." -The Rowdy, Justin Stokes
“In striving to consistently live up to his audience’s expectations, Watson acknowledges the ongoing struggle that inevitably ensues in his efforts to live up to his own...That’s why Watson’s latest LP, REAL.COUNTRY.MUSIC., includes songs by such songwriting stalwarts as Kris Kristofferson (“Enough For You”), Larry Gatlin (“Help Me”), and Dean Dillon, Hank Cochran, and Keith Whitley (“She Never Got Me Over You”).” - No Depression, Donald Gibson

Of Note: Mountain Fever Records proudly announced the self-titled new album by Dave Adkins made its debut at #1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums Chart (dated March 19, 2016). The album was released February 26 and was produced by Adkins who also contributed six original songs to his ground-breaking new project. Adkins is a consummate Singer-Songwriter as evidenced by his recent sold-out live concerts and hot selling new album. Bluegrass Today agrees saying, “Adkins is entertaining, and truly has one of the most powerful voices in bluegrass today.”
(26 Feb 2016) Dave Adkins - Self Titled (Mountain Fever Records)
12 Tracks/ Time: 35:09 Country/ Bluegrass/ Acoustic Country Amazon UK - UK iTunes -

Year-To-Date Albums
3,831,000 (Physical sales 2,480,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 1,350,000 (down -17.2%)) which is 10.5% down at the same point in 2015 (4,282,000 sales)
Year-To-Date Digital Tracks

15,806,000 down 22.7% at the same point in 2015 (20,448,000)

Billboard Hot Country Songs (Chart issue week of March 19, 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:

AT 17: Thomas Rhett with “Die a Happy Man” (Valory) ranked at the summit for a 17th week (the last 16 in succession). The song now stands alone for the third-most weeks spent at No.1, dating to the chart’s 1958 launch as an all-encompassing genre ranking, passing Buck Owens’ “Love’s Gonna Live Here” (16 weeks, 1963-64). Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” (2012-13) reigned with 24 weeks at No.1, followed by Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk On By” (19 weeks, 1961-62)

Hot County Songs

** No.1 (17 weeks) ** “Die A Happy Man” Thomas Rhett
** Airplay Gainer ** No.7 “We Went” Randy Houser
** Digital Gainer ** No.22 “T-Shirt” Thomas Rhett
** Streaming Gainer ** No.13 “Somewhere On A Beach” Dierks Bentley
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.41 “Blue Bayou” Alisan Porter (The Voice 2016 >> Blind Audition)
Debut No.48 “Merica” Granger Smith feat. Earl Dibbles Jr.
Debut No.50 “Mayday” Cam

Billboard Country Airplay (Chart issue week of March 19, 2016)

Randy Houser with “We Went” (Stoney Creek), the first single from his fourth studio album, FIRED UP (due March 11), jumped 3-1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart (dated March 19), increasing by 11% to 45.5 million audience impressions in the tracking week, according to Nielsen Music. The gritty country-rocker is Houser’s third leader, following “How Country Feels” and “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” both in 2013.
“ ‘We Went’ [is] a song we cut immediately after hearing it,” Houser told Billboard. “The melody moves and the story is just really adventurous, a Bonnie and Clyde vibe. With the album coming out this Friday, it has me feeling so appreciative.” Patience is rewarded, as the song completes the fourth slowest ascent — 40 weeks to No.1 in the Country Airplay chart’s 26-year history.
On Hot Country Songs, “Went” became Houser’s sixth top 10, rose 12-7. It was also boosted by a 3% lift to 731,00 weekly domestic streams. 2009’s No.2-peaking “Boots On” marks his highest rank on the survey.
The research on the song has been consistently strong,” said Entercom Communications director of country programming Mike Moore, adding that Houser “continues to find songs that resonate with the audience.”
Houser’s next single, “Song Number 7,” goes for adds on March 28.

The song, which Rolling Stone Country notes “not only takes the singer on a wild adventure, [but] also represents something of a new musical direction for him,” is one of 17 new tracks on Houser’s tour de force of an album, out via Stoney Creek Records Friday March 11. Prior to the album’s street date, Houser will perform “We Went” live on ABC’s Good Morning America this Wednesday, March 9.
 “This is just so cool to have our fourth number one the same week that our album is coming out,” said Houser. “It’s always humbling when you have a song that really connects like that, and I’m really looking forward to getting our new music out there and playing it live on the road this summer.
Produced by Derek George, who also guided Houser’s breakthrough 2013 album HOW COUNTRY FEELS, “Fired Up” is already earning the attention of critics. Rolling Stone Country notes that the album “captures what the Mississippi native does best: huge-voiced heartbreak ballads and roadhouse rockers” and RARE Country calls Fired Up “a complete collection of what Houser does best and is built on Houser’s strengths – guitar-heavy rockers and country ballads that truly have something to say.”

Three other songs reach the Country Airplay top 10. Florida Georgia Line’s Confession” (Republic Nashville) climbed 12-7 (32.8 million, up 7%), marking the 10th top 10 for the duo (Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard). The sum includes seven No.1s, starting with the pair’s 2012 debut, “Cruise.” “Confession” is the fifth single from FGL’s second album, Anything Goes. With its first two full-lengths (Here’s to the Good Times arrived in 2012) having each generated five Country Airplay top 10s, FGL is just the fifth act to accomplish the feat with its first two major-label albums, following Brooks & Dunn, Dixie Chicks (who scored six from their second set), Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band.
Chase Bryant with “Little Bit of You” (Red Bow) made Country Airplay history, as it entered the top 10 in its 47th week (11-8; 32.1 million, up 4 percent). The song passed Lee Brice’s “Love Like Crazy” (2010) and Chase Rice’s “Gonna Wanna Tonight” (2015), which each took 46 weeks to reach the tier. “Forty-seven weeks doesn’t feel like a long time when you believe in someone as much as we believed in Chase,” says Red Bow vp promotion Renee Leymon. Bryant scored his second Country Airplay top 10 and bests the peak of his prior (and debut) entry, “Take It on Back” (No. 9, 2015).
Rascal Flatts with I Like the Sound of That” (Big Machine) likewise hits the Country Airplay top 10 (13-9; 30.3 million, up 5%), becoming the trio’s 30th top 10, a mark that just 10 other acts have reached dating to the chart’s 1990 inception. The fourth single from Rewind was written by Jesse Frasure, Shay Mooney and best new artist Grammy Award winner Meghan Trainor (who first beamed to Billboard about the song nearly two years ago).

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (1 week) *** "We Went” Randy Houser 45.546 million audience (+4.554 million) / 8,461 radio plays (+840)
** Hot Shot Debut/ Most Increased Audience/ Most Added ** No.33 “American Country Love Song Jake Owen (+5.521 milion audience gain, 57 fresh radio commitments (57 ADDS)
Debut No.53 “Reckless” Martina McBride
Debut No.59 “If The Boot Fits” Granger Smith

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart (Chart issue week of March 19, 2016)

Maren Morris remained at No.1 on the Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart as the best-selling star this chart frame with "My Church" (Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville) (up #27-18 Digital Songs; 36,732 sales; up 7%; #18 Digital Songs; 8-week total 216,589)
Cole Swindell with “You Should Be Here” rose 3-2 (31,328 sales; up 5%; #22 Digital Songs; 12-week total 344,312)
Tim McGraw with poignant song “Humble And Kind” climbed 5-3 (29,808 sales; up 23%; 7-week total 152,960)
Thomas Rhett with "Die A Happy Man" fell 2-4 (27,996 sales; down 9%; 20-26 Digital Songs; 24-week total 1,209,022).
Brett Eldredge with “Drunk On Your Love” rose 6-5 (24,777 sales; up 6%; 34-31 Digital Songs; 13-week total 241,249)
Dierks Bentley with “Somewhere On A Beach" climbed 8-6 (24,207 sales; up 27%; 44-32 Digital Songs; 7-week total 130,603)

Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

7 March 2016

Congrats to Randy Houser, Carson James, Chris Loss, Heather Propper and the rest of the Stoney Creek promo crew on landing the week’s No.1 with “We Went.” The song is the first single from his album FIRED UP, which will be released Friday (March 11).
The song logged 8,659 radio spins (+956) and 60.929 million audience impressions (+6.581) with 27865 Total Points from 157 tracking stations for the tracking week February 28 to March 5, 2016 and published chart March 7th 2016.

"We Went" is Houser's fourth career #1, following "Goodnight Kiss," "Runnin' Outta Moonlight," and "How Country Feels" from his "How Country Feels" album. "We Went" is the first single from HOUSER's forthcoming "Fired Up" album, set to release this FRIDAY, MARCH 11th. The career achievement also coincided with a personal milestone, as HOUSER shared via FACEBOOK, "TODAY my son turns four years old, and I got my fourth #1 song! What a SUNDAY!"

Kudos to Keith Gale and the RCA staff on notching 60 adds for Jake Owen’s American Country Love Song,” topping the week’s "Most Added" board.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 489 - March 7, 2016 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here -

Billboard Boxscores (Selective Country concerts)

Rank Artist: #26
Event Venue City/State: Blake Shelton, Chris Janson Sprint Center Kansas City, Mo.
Dates: Feb. 26, 2016 Gross Sales: $889,922  Attend: 15,163 /15,163
Capacity Shows: 1/1 ** SOLD OUT ** Sellouts Prices: $69, $49
Promoters: Live Nation

Rank Artist: #52
Event Venue City/State: Chris Young, Cassadee Pope Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric Baltimore, Md.           
Dates: Feb. 26, 2016 Gross Sales: $123,629 Attend: 2,514 / 2,514
Capacity Shows: 1/1 ** SOLD OUT ** Sellouts Prices: $59, $29
Promoters: AEG Live

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