Saturday, 7 January 2017

Country Billboard Chart News January 3, 2017

Country Billboard Chart News January 2, 2017

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

PEARL RECORDS artist Garth Brooks led the RIAA GOLD and PLATINUM honours in December 2016 for the Country format. Brooks received PLATINUM Album honors for "Gunslinger," "RPMs," "The Covers," "The Road," "Cowboys," "Turn It Up," "Anthems," "Midnight Fire," and "Old School."
RIAA GOLD Album honours:
Dierks Bentley for FEEL THAT FIRE (2009), HOME (2012), and RISER (2014),
Joey + Rory for the album HYMNS

RIAA Platinum Single honours went to:
JASON ALDEAN for "Big Green Tractor" (Release Date: March 31, 2009)
Jana Kramer for "I Got The Boy." (Release Date: Jan 27, 2015)

RIAA GOLD Single honours were awarded to:
Chris Stapleton for "Traveller," "Fire Away," "Nobody To Blame," and "Parachute;"
Craig Morgan for "That's What I Love About Sunday" (Release Date: March 8, 2005) and "International Harvester;"  (Release Date: Oct 31, 2006)
Blake Shelton for "She's Got A Way With Words” (Release Date: May 20, 2016; Gold | Dec 9, 2016; 0.5 million).

In Brief: Billboard Country Charts (Chart issue week of January 14, 2017)

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (3 weeks) ** The Ultimate Collection Garth Brooks  
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (9 weeks) ** “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Keith Urban 
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Keith Urban 
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 (9 weeks) **  “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Keith Urban   

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News 
(Chart issue week of January 14, 2017)

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

Pentatonix spent a second week atop the Billboard 200 with A PENTATONIX CHRISTMAS, as the set earned 101,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Dec. 29, 2016 -- the final tracking week of the calendar year.
The closing tracking frame of 2016 includes the two days leading up to Christmas Day and the holiday itself, so it was fitting that a Christmas album led the tally. While A Pentatonix Christmas’ total units earned for the week were down by 51%, its traditional album sales were greater than any other album: it sold 82,000 copies (down 55%), far ahead of the No.2 selling set of the week, Bruno Mars’ 24K MAGIC, with 55,000 copies (down 39%).

George Michael’s two-CD compilation Twenty Five re-entered the chart at No.12 in the wake of his death on Christmas Day. This surpassed the album’s initial peak position (No.23) when it was first released in 2008. (The album title is a reference to the fact that 2008 was the 25th anniversary of Michael’s debut with Wham!)
Michael’s 1987 solo debut album, Faith, re-entered the chart at No.18. The album logged 12 weeks at No.1 in 1987-1988, and an additional 12 weeks at No. 2. (It spent eight weeks of those weeks at No. 2 behind the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.) It went on to win the Grammy for Album of the Year.
The death of George Michael on Dec. 25 prompted a big sales surge for his albums and digital songs in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. In the week ending Dec. 29, sales of Michael’s music -- including with his former duo, Wham! -- increased 2,678 percent (to 477,000 albums and songs, rounded to the nearest thousand) as compared to the previous week (17,000). Of the 477,000 total, album sales equalled 48,000 (up from just 1,000 the week previous), while song sales totalled 429,000 (an increase from 16,000 a week earlier).
In total, Michael/Wham! earned 103,000 equivalent album units during the tracking frame -- a gain of 2,071 percent compared to the 5,000 units earned a week earlier.

Billboard Year-End Charts (Billboard)
Nielsen Music: Consumption Up 3%, Thanks To 76% Increase In Streaming

NIELSEN MUSIC released its 2016 U.S. YEAR-END REPORT for the 12-month period ending Dec 29th, 2016, confirming that the music industry experienced steady and consistent growth last year, with overall volume up 3% over 2015, fueled by a 76% increase in on-demand audio streams.
On-demand audio streams surpassed 250 billion streams in 2016, and overall on-demand streams (including video) have reached 431 billion. On the other hand, there were sales decreases in nearly all formats, particularly digital sales. However, the growth in streaming was more than enough to off-set the declines, which resulted in a positive year for the music business.

Drake’s VIEWS was the leader in total volume (albums + track equivalent albums + audio on-demand streaming equivalent albums), followed by Adele’s "25" (released in 2015) and Beyonce’s "Lemonade."

For the second year in a row, "25" led the year’s album sales in the U.S., marking only the second time in history that the same album has been the top seller in two consecutive calendar years (the first being Adele’s 21 album in 2011 and 2012).




TOP BILLBOARD 200 ALBUMS Year-End 2016: This year's most popular albums across all genres, ranked by album sales as well as audio on-demand streaming activity and digital sales of tracks from albums as compiled by Nielsen Music.
#1. Adele, ‘25’: Adele's third album sold 1,684,000 copies in 2016, on top of the 7,441,000 it sold in 2015 (when it also ranked No. 1 for the year). This is the fourth time that Adele has had the year’s top-selling album.
In 2016, for the first time since Nielsen Music began tracking music sales in 1991, not one album sold 2 million copies (in traditional album sales).

Only six albums debuted with over 200K in album sales in their first week in 2016 (there were 13 such cases in 2015), led by Drake with 852K first week sales. Other albums to surpass the 200K mark in their first week include "Lemonade" (485k), "4 Your Eyez Only" (363k), Metallica’s "Hardwired … To Self Destruct" (282k), Frank Ocean’s "Blonde" (232k) and "Starboy" (209k).

Vinyl LP sales, which have reached an all-time NIELSEN MUSIC-era (post 1991) high volume of 13 million units, increased for the 11th consecutive year in 2016. The top vinyl LP of the year was Twenty One Pilots'’ "Blurryface," with David Bowie’s "Blackstar" and "25" finishing close behind.
The biggest song of the year in terms of total activity (sales + audio streaming equivalents) was Drake’s “One Dance,” followed by Chainsmokers' (f/HALSEY) “Closer” and Rihanna's (f/DRAKE) “Work.”
Topping the Digital Songs Sales charts this year were Justin Timberlake's “Can’t Stop The Feeling!,” “Closer” and Flo Rida's “My House.”

#1 Selling Albums
2015: Adele - “25” 7,441,000
2014: Taylor Swift - “1989” 3,661,000
2013: Justin Timberlake - “The 20/20 Experience” 2,430,000
2012: Adele - “21” 4,410,000
2011: Adele - “21” Copies sold: 5,824,000
2010 Eminem - Recovery 3,415,000 (#2 were Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now 3,089,000 sales)
2009 Taylor Swift - Fearless 3,217,000
2008 Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III 2,874,000
2007 Josh Groban - Noel 3,699,000
2006 High School Musical “Soundtrack” 3,719,071
2005 Mariah Carey - Emancipation of Mimi 4,968,606
2004 Usher - Confessions 7,978,594
2003 50 Cent - Get Rich Or Die Tryin' 6,535,809
2002 Eminem - The Eminem Show 7,807,925
2001 Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory 4,812,852
2000 NSYNC - No Strings Attached 9,936,104
1999 Backstreet Boys - Millenium 9,445,732
1998 Titanic Soundtrack 9,338,061
1997 Spice Girls - Spice 5.3m
1996 Alanis Morisette - Jagged Little Pill 7.38m
1995 Hootie - Cracked Rear View Mirror 7m
1994 The Lion King Soundtrack 10m
1993 The Bodyguard Soundtrack 11,376,951
1992 Billy Ray Cyrus - Some Gave All 4,832,000
1991 Garth Brooks - Ropin' The Wind 4m

DIGITAL

Digital continued to be the dominant sales platform, but digital sales are declined much more rapidly than physical sales as tech-savvy consumers move onto streaming platforms.
-- For the first time in over a decade, physical albums actually became a larger share of total album sales than they were in the prior year.
For the first time in history, the internet/mail-order/venue store group, led by Internet retailers and concert ticket bundles, has become the largest share of physical sales, ending a nine-year period where mass merchant outlets were the leading driver of physical album sales.

While song sales showed steep declines (-25%) vs. last year, song consumption (sales + audio streaming equivalents at a rate of 150 streams to one song sale) continued to be strong with growing contribution from audio streams.
In 2016, 15 songs eclipsed the three million volume mark (song sales + audio streaming equivalents), despite only five songs reaching over two million in sales. The song with the most volume for the year was Drake’s “One Dance,” which had over 5.5 million song sales + audio streaming equivalents and 64% of that volume came from audio streams.
Prince also sold 5.4 million digital songs, giving him the highest sales volume of the year (albums + track equivalents), just out-selling Drake and Adele.  The day after his death was announced, Prince sold over one million digital songs and over 200k digital albums

2016 Nielsen Music SOUNDSCAN DATA:

TOTAL MUSIC SALES in America (All Genres) Source






























* Figure believed to be 616,957,000
** Figure believed to be 615,266,000 a 7.4% increase over 1993

2016 Nielsen Music SOUNDSCAN DATA:
TOTAL MUSIC CONSUMPTION in America (All Genres) Source
Notes:
Track equivalent albums (where 10 track downloads equal one album + album sales)

Song Streams
**(251.86 billion were audio-only)
*** (144.9 billion were audio-only)
Streaming equivalent albums (SEA)
(1,500 song streams equal one album)
* (2,000 streams equal one album)

* “The industry calculates that a stream equivalent album (SEA) equals 1,500 streams. (That’s an average payout of half a cent per stream, totalling $7.50. In 2013, the average payout per stream was $.0.00375, thus in that year 2,000 streams equalled one SEA unit.)” – Ed Christman.

Billboard Top Country Albums 
(Chart issue week of January 14, 2017)

Garth Brooks with The Ultimate Collection led the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart for a third week selling another 30,700 copies with a 3-week chart frame total 420,800.
He posted 4 albums sets in the top 11, additionally Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood with their seasonal set CHRISTMAS TOGETHER held at #4 selling 15,000 copies (7-week total 183,000), Garth Brooks with GUNSLINGER was down one 7-8 (9,500 sales; 5-week total 69,600) and Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood with their 2-CD package bundle Christmas Together / Gunslinger fell 6-11 (7,700 sales; 7-week total 81,700)

Miranda Lambert with THE WEIGHT OF THESE WINGS moved 3-2 selling 17,600 copies (6-week total 240,700)
Chris Stapleton with TRAVELLER fell 2-3 (17,400 sales; 87-week total 1,744,200)
Keith Urban with RIPCORD held at #5 (12,200 sales; 34-week total 412,100)
Jason Aldean with THEY DON'T KNOW moved 8-6 (12,100 sales; 16-week total 305,400)
Kane Brown with his self-titled set KANE BROWN rose 10-7 (10,200 sales; 4-week total 81,100)
Florida Georgia Line with DIG YOUR ROOTS rose 12-9 (9,400 copies; 18-week total 324,800)
Kenny Chesney with COSMIC HALLELUJAH fell 9-10 (8,900 sales; 9-week total 175,800)

Top Selling 2016 Country Christmas Albums 
(Up to Charts published Jan 3, 2017)
#1 CHRISTMAS TOGETHER - Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood (debut 24,979 sales; 6 week total 183,000)
Additionally the 2-Disc combination package CHRISTMAS TOGETHER/GUNSLINGER (debut 12,800 sales), sold 81,700 copies in 6 weeks.
#2 GLOW - Brett Eldredge (debut 15,844 sales; 7 week total 94,800)
#3 IT MUST BE CHRISTMAS - Chris Young (debut 7,581 sales; 9 week total 70,500)
#4 'TIS THE SEASON - Jimmy Buffett (debut 11,178 sales; 8 week total 61,000 est)
#5 THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL - Rascal Flatts (debut 8,410 sales; 9 week total 64,400)
#6 TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS - Jennifer Nettles (debut 7,859 sales; 8 weeks total 55,400)
#7 A VERY KACEY CHRISTMAS - Kacey Musgraves (debut 8,612 sales; 8 week total 55,100)
#8 FULL OF (EVEN MORE) CHEER - Home Free (debut 5,100 sales; 6 week total 38,500)
#9 CHRISTMAS TIME BLUE - Loretta Lynn (debut 3,319 sales; 10 week total 29,400)

Year-To-Date Albums
26,104,000 (Physical sales 18,018,000 (down -9.0%) + Digital sales 8,086,000 (down -19.4%)) which is 11.1% down at the same point in 2015 (29,356,000 sales) 

Year-To-Date Digital Tracks
85,025,000 down -23.6% at the same point in 2015 (111,287,000)

Top Selling Country Albums Year-End 2016
ranked by Nielsen Music. Billboard Year-End Chart
This year's most popular albums across all genres, ranked by album sales as well as audio on-demand streaming activity and digital sales of tracks from albums as compiled by Nielsen Music.

When executives look back on shifts in country music in future years, they might well point to 2016 as the moment when the transition was most evident.
Country streaming grew by 57%
Country track downloads shrunk 23%, according to Nielsen Music, indicating that the genre's customers are increasingly comfortable with the music industry's new paradigm of accessing music instead of owning it.

At the same time, Chris Stapleton's TRAVELLER became the first country album in three years to sell 1 million units from January through December, suggesting that consumers haven't completely abandoned the idea of possessing a collection of songs.
Joey + Rory's HYMNS (Gaither Music Group) the gospel album released on Feb. 12, 2016, just weeks before Joey Martin Feek's March 4 death from cancer, tallied nearly 518,000 sales to finish at No. 3 on the Nielsen list and #2 on the Billboard Year-End Chart . That figure includes sales at Christian retail outlets. Without that volume, the project would have ranked at No. 5 with 410,000 sales.

#1 Country; #7 Top Billboard 200; #4 (All Genres yahoo.com)

Chris Stapleton - Traveller (Release Date: May 5, 2015 | Total 1,744,200 sales at Jan 3, 2017)
The album has sold 1,059,000 copies in 2016 (as of Jan 3, 2017), on top of 685K it sold in 2015 (when it ranked No. 14 for the year). This is the highest ranking for a country album since 2013, when Luke Bryan’s 'Crash My Party' was the year’s No. 3 album. This was Stapleton’s first solo album; it’s the year’s top debut album. 'Traveller' was a 2015 Grammy nominee for Album of the Year. TEA rank: No. 4.


#2 Country; #54 Top Billboard 200;
Joey+Rory - Hymns That Are Important to Us (Release date: February 12, 2016 | Total 517,700 sales at Jan 3, 2017)

#3 Country; #41 Top Billboard 200; #11 (All Genres)
Blake Shelton - If I’m Honest (Released Date: May 20, 2016 | Total 539,700 sales at Jan 3, 2017)
The album has sold 540K copies since its release in May. This is the second time that Shelton has had an album in the year’s top 15. 'Based on a True Story…' was No. 9 for 2013. TEA rank: No. 12.

Top-Selling Country Albums, 2016
Position/ Artist/ Title/ Units sold in 2016
1) Chris Stapleton, TRAVELLER, 1,085,000 (release date May 5, 2015; total sales1,744,200)
2) Blake Shelton, IF I’M HONEST, 540,000
3) Joey + Rory, HYMNS, 518,000
4) Garth Brooks, THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION, 421,000 (release date Nov 6, 2007; total sales 2,643,100)
5) Keith Urban, RIPCORD, 412,000
6) Florida Georgia Line, DIG YOUR ROOTS, 325,000
7) Jason Aldean, THEY DON’T KNOW, 305,000
8) Sam Hunt, MONTEVALLO, 284,000 (release date Oct 27, 2014)
9) Thomas Rhett, TANGLED UP, 266,000
10) Carrie Underwood, STORYTELLER, 256,000 (release date Oct 23, 2015; total sales 721,700)

TOP SELLING COUNTRY ALBUMS RELEASED IN 2016 (at Jan 3, 2017)

Artist/ Album/ Total Sales (Jan 3, 2017)/ Release Date

Blake Shelton  If I'm Honest 539,700 (May 20, 2016)
Joey+Rory Hymns 517,700 (Feb 12, 2016)
Garth Brooks   The Ultimate Collection  420,800 (Nov 11, 2016)
Keith Urban Ripcord 412,100 (May 6, 2016)
Florida Georgia Line    Dig Your Roots 324,800 (Aug 26, 2016)
Jason Aldean   They Don't Know 305,400 (Sept 9, 2016)
Cole Swindell  You Should Be Here 241,500 (May 6, 2016)
Miranda Lambert The Weight Of These Wings 240,700 (Nov 18, 2016)
Dierks Bentley  Black 225,700 (May 27, 2016)
Kenny Chesney Cosmic Halleujah 175,800 (Oct 28, 2016)

Maren Morris Hero 156,800 (June 3, 2016)
Sturgill Simpson A Sailor's Guide To Earth 155,800 (April 15, 2016)
Hillary Scott/Scott Family Love Remains 119,200 (July 29, 2016)
Dolly Parton Pure & Simple 106,400 (Aug 19, 2016)
Jon Pardi California Sunrise 98,000 (June 17, 2016)
Aaron Lewis Sinner 96,500 (Sept 16, 2016)
Brothers Osborne 1,200 94,600 (Jan 15, 2016)
Justin Moore Kinda Don't Care  94,400 (Aug 12, 2016)
Kane Brown Kane Brown 81,100 (Dec 2, 2016)
Dan+Shay Obsessed 78,300 (June 3, 2016)

Granger Smith Remington 73,500 (March 4, 2016)
Garth Brooks   Gunslinger 69,600 (Nov 25, 2016)
Steven Tyler We're All Somebody From So...50,700 (July 15, 2016)
Blackberry Smoke Like An Arrow 35,600 (Oct 14, 2016)
Drake White Spark 35,000 (Aug 19, 2016)
Cody Jinks I'm Not The Devil 32,800 (Aug 12, 2016)
William Michael Morgan Vinyl 19,400 (Sept 30, 2016)
Eric Church On The Rocks: Live 25,200 (Nov 4, 2016)


Billboard Hot Country Songs 
(Chart issue week of January 14, 2017)
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:

Keith Urban with “Blue Ain’t Your Color” (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville) ruled Country Airplay, it also paced both Hot Country Songs (which combines airplay, sales and streaming data) and Country Digital Song Sales for a ninth week each. The track leads the latter list with an 88 percent surge to 48,000 downloads sold in the week ending Dec. 29, 2016 (a frame bolstered by holiday shopping). Since its release, “Blue” has shifted 651,000 downloads to date.
On Country Streaming Songs, “Blue” held at No.6 (4.2 million U.S. streams, essentially even week over week) following a three-week run at No. 1 in November and December 2016.
Urban’s simultaneous commanded three of Billboard’s main country charts (among Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay, Country Digital Song Sales and Country Streaming Songs) marking the first time that an act has tripled up at No.1 since Florida Georgia Line did so with “H.O.L.Y.” On Aug. 6, 2016, the duo’s smash led Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay and Country Streaming Songs.
Urban’s three-chart rule in the same frame is the first for a solo male since Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man” crowned Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay and Country Digital Song Sales for five consecutive weeks starting Jan. 9, 2016.

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (9 weeks) ** “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Keith Urban 
** Digital Gainer ** No.2 “May We All” Florida Georgia Line feat. Tim McGraw
** Airplay Gainer ** No.7 “A Guy With A Girl” Blake Shelton
Streaming Gainer ** No.13 “Kill A Word” Eric Church feat. Rhiannon Giddens
 ** Hot Shot Debut ** No.49 “Lipstick” Runaway June
Debut No.50 “What I’m Thankful For (The Thanksgiving Song) Garth Brooks feat. James Taylor

Most-Streamed Country Songs, 2016
1) Florida Georgia Line, "H.O.L.Y.," 175,400,000
2) Thomas Rhett, "Die a Happy Man," 156,400,000
3) Sam Hunt, "Break Up in a Small Town," 127,300,000
4) Sam Hunt, "Take Your Time," 95,400,000
5) Chris Stapleton, "Tennessee Whiskey," 93,000,000
6) Sam Hunt, "Make You Miss Me," 92,900,000
7) Luke Bryan, "Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day"   85,500,000
8) Tim McGraw, "Humble and Kind," 83,800,000
9) Sam Hunt, "House Party," 79,800,000
10) Thomas Rhett, "T-Shirt," 78,700,000
Country Year End Charts
• Top Country Artists Chris Stapleton
• Top Country Artists — Duo/Group Florida Georgia Line
• Top Country Artists — Female Carrie Underwood
• Top Country Artists — Male Chris Stapleton
• Top New Country Artists Maren Morris
• Top Country Labels Universal Music Group Nashville
• Top Hot Country Songs Artists Florida Georgia Line
• Top Hot Country Songs “H.O.L.Y.,” Florida Georgia Line
• Top Hot Country Songs Labels Capitol Nashville
• Top Hot Country Songs Producers Joey Moi
• Top Hot Country Songs Publishing Corporations Sony/ATV Music
• Top Hot Country Songs Publishers WB Music Corp., ASCAP
• Top Hot Country Songwriters Ashley Gorley
• Top Country Airplay Artists Jason Aldean
• Top Country Airplay Songs “Head Over Boots,” Jon Pardi
• Top Country Airplay Labels Capitol Nashville
• Top Country Digital Songs Artists Thomas Rhett
• Top Country Digital Songs Titles “H.O.L.Y.,” Florida Georgia Line
• Top Country Albums Titles Traveller, Chris Stapleton
• Top Country Albums Artists Chris Stapleton
• Top Country Albums Labels Universal Music Group Nashville
• Top Country Albums Distributors Universal
• Top Country Indicator Songs “Head Over Boots,” Jon Pardi
• Top Americana/Folk Albums Traveller, Chris Stapleton
• Top Country Tours Luke Bryan
• Top Country Catalog Albums Artists Merle Haggard
• Top Country Catalog Albums Titles The Legend of Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash

Billboard Country Airplay (Chart issue week of January 14, 2017)

Keith Urban banked his 21st No.1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart (dated Jan. 14), as “Blue Ain’t Your Color” (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville) climbed 2-1 in its 20th week, increasing by 18% to 44.8 million audience impressions in the week ending Jan.1, according to Nielsen Music.
Written by Steven Lee Olsen, Hillary Lindsey and Clint Lagerberg, the retro sound of “Blue” is a departure from most of Urban’s past hits. “Despite the waltz time signature, I feel it is more of a soul song,” Urban told Billboard. “We worked for a long time in the studio to get the feel and simplicity to where it is. Certainly when [parent album] Ripcord came out [in May], it was definitely one of the tracks that people responded to immediately.
Even when we kicked off the tour [in June], it was getting the same reaction live. I loved it the first time I heard it [and] I love playing it live, so it’s really the best feeling when it connects the way that this one has.”
As “Blue” rules Country Airplay, it also paced both Hot Country Songs (which combines airplay, sales and streaming data) and Country Digital Song Sales for a ninth week each.
As Urban earns his 21st Country Airplay leader, a run that began with “But for the Grace of God” on Feb. 24, 2001, he moves into sole possession of sixth place for the most No.1s in the history of the chart, which launched Jan. 20, 1990. He passes Brooks & Dunn and Toby Keith, each with 20 No.1s. Tim McGraw leads all artists with 29 Country Airplay chart-toppers, followed by Kenny Chesney (27), Alan Jackson, George Strait (24 each) and Blake Shelton (22).
“It’s a bit surreal, quite frankly,” says Urban of his legacy of leaders. “I just wanted to make music and hoped radio would play it so I could have songs in my set that people knew. And, really, that hasn’t changed.”
“Blue” is the third Country Airplay No.1 from Ripcord, Urban’s eighth studio album, following “Wasted Time” (July 9, 2016) and “Break on Me” (March 12). The album’s debut single, “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” peaked at No.2 (Sept. 26, 2015). After arriving as his fifth No.1 on Top Country Albums (May 28, 2016) with 93,000 copies sold, the set has sold 412,000 copies to date; on the Jan. 14-dated chart, RIPCORD held at No. 5 (12,000).
In the ever-changing landscape of country, how does Urban keep his music fresh? “We were talking the other day about the pursuit of happiness,” he says.
“Someone said what it’s really about is staying curious. I like that. That’s very much where I exist. I’m curious about musical expression in all its forms [and] where mine can go. And I have a real passion for new music, in particular. The possibilities are endless.”

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (1 week) *** “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Keith Urban 44.792 million audience (+6.936 million) / 7,779 radio plays (+1260)
** Most Increased Audience ** No.4 “A Guy With A Girl” Blake Shelton 6.949 Million audience gain
** Most Added ** No.20 “Fast” Luke Bryan (56 ADDS)
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.56 “Burn The Bed” Candi Carpenter

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart 
(Chart issue week of January 14, 2017)

Keith Urban with “Blue Ain’t Your Color” (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville) at #1 (26-27 Digital songs) led Country Digital Song Sales for a ninth week his 24th chart frame selling another 48,000 downloads for a 24-week total of 660,000.

Florida Georgia Line featuring Tim McGraw with “May We All” rose 4-2 (#43-44 Digital Songs; 30,000 sales; 24-week total 448,000) as FGL’s smash hit H.O.L.Y jumped 13-7 in its 34th chart frame (26,000 sales; 34 week total 1,379,000).
Little Big Town with the award-winning smash hit “Girl Crush” rebounded 19-3 (46 Re-Entry Digital Songs; 30,000 sales; 84-week total 2,306,000) as their recent single Better Man" (writer Taylor Swift) fell 2-6 (27,000 sales; 11-week total 283,000)
Brett Young with “Sleep Without You” climbed 5-4 (#47 non-mover Digital Songs; 29,000 sales; 29-week total 343,000)
Jon Pardi with “Dirt On My Boots” fell 3-5 (#39-50 Digital Songs; 28,000 sales; 14-week total 191,000)
Michael Ray with “Think A Little Less” moved 10-8 (21,000 sales; 2-week total 96,000)
Thomas Rhett with “Star of the Show” slipped 8-9 (21,000 sales; 13-week total 148,000)
Brett Eldredge with “Wanna Be That Song” rounded out the top 10 with a 6-10 fall (20,000 sales; 30-week total 300,000)

Top Selling Country Digital Songs Year-End 2016

Top-Selling Country Digital Songs, 2016
1) Florida Georgia Line, "H.O.L.Y.", 1,379,000
2) Tim McGraw, "Humble and Kind," 1,023,000
3) Thomas Rhett, "Die a Happy Man," 910,000
4) Maren Morris, "My Church," 830,000
5) Dierks Bentley, "Somewhere on a Beach," 697,000
6) Cole Swindell, "You Should Be Here," 681,000
7) Keith Urban, "Blue Ain’t Your Color," 660,000
8) Jon Pardi, "Head Over Boots," 626,000
9) Dan + Shay, "From the Ground Up," 607,000
10) Kelsea Ballerini, "Peter Pan," 604,000
Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

2 January 2017
Congratulations to CAPITOL NASHVILLE artist Keith Urban and the UMG Nashville & Capitol Nashville promotion teams for scoring the #1 spot on the Mediabase Country singles chart with "Blue Ain't Your Color." The single is his 22nd career chart-topper and the fourth #1 from his RIPCORD album, following the two-week hit "Wasted Time" in June & July 2016, "Break On Me" (Feb 2016), and "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" (Sept 2015)

Additionally, congratulations to Atlantic/Warner Music Nashville artist Brett Eldredge for scoring the #1 spot on the Mediabase Country singles chart with "Wanna Be That Song" during the Week of Monday, Dec 19th 2016. The single is his sixth consecutive chart-topper, following "Drunk On Your Love" (March 2016), "Lose My Mind" (Oct 2015), "Mean to Me" (March 2015), "Beat Of The Music" (June 16, 2014), and "Don't Ya" (Aug 2013).

Kudos to Columbia Nashville/Blue Chair artist Kenny Chesney for earning 60 MEDIABASE adds with his single, "Bar At The End Of The World," making it the Most Added" single at Country radio this chart week. 

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