Monday, 6 March 2017

Country Billboard Chart News February 27, 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

Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney Lead RIAA Gold And Platinum Country Honors For February
Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney led the RIAA GOLD and PLATINUM honours in February 2017 for the Country format.
Keith received PLATINUM Single honors for:
 "Blue Ain't Your Color" (released May 6, 2016; 1 Million) and "JOHN COUGAR, JOHN DEERE, JOHN 3:16" (released May 5, 2015; 1 Million) and GOLD Single Honors for "Break On Me" (released Oct 14, 2015; 0.5 Million) and "Wasted Time" (released March 24, 2016; 0.5 Million) 

Kenny Chesney earned PLATINUM Album honours for "Welcome To The Fishbowl" (release date June 19, 2012; 1 Million) and "Lucky Old Sun" (release date Oct 14, 2008; 1 Million) and GOLD Album honours for THE BIG REVIVAL (release date Aug 12, 2014; 0.5 Million) and LIFE ON A ROCK (release date April 30, 2013; 0.5 Million) .

RIAA PLATINUM Album honours went to:
Little Big Town for PAINKILLER (release date Oct 21, 2014; 1 Million; went Gold on March 4, 2016)

GOLD Album honours went to:
Cole Swindell for YOU SHOULD BE HERE (release date May 6, 2016; 0.5 Million)
Dierks Bentley for BLACK (release date May 27, 2016; 0.5 Million)

Earning RIAA PLATINUM Single honours were:
Thomas Rhett for "Die A Happy Man" (release date Sept 18, 2015; 3 MILLION 3x Multi-Platinum)
Brantley Gilbert for "One Hell Of An Amen" (release date May 19, 2014; 1 Million units; went GOLD July 31, 2015)
Florida Georgia Line (FGL) for "This Is How We Roll" (release date Dec 4, 2012; 4 Million 4x Multi-Platinum)

Receiving RIAA GOLD Single honours were:
Big & Rich for "Look At You" (release date Feb 2, 2014; 0.5 Million units)
Florida Georgia Line for "May We All" (release date July 17, 2016; 0.5 Million units) 
Jon Pardi for "Dirt On My Boots" (release date June 17, 2016; 0.5 Million)
Brett Young for "Sleep Without You" (release date Feb 12, 2016; 0.5 Million)
Thomas Rhett for "Vacation" (release date Aug 28, 2015 0.5 Million)
For a full list of RIAA awards, visit

In Brief: Billboard Country Charts (Chart issue week of March 11, 2017)

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (1 week) WINDY CITY Alison Krauss
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (3 weeks) ** “Body Like A Back Road” Sam Hunt
Country Airplay ** No.1 (2 weeks) ** "Better Man” Little Big Town
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 (4 weeks) ** “Body Like A Back Road” Sam Hunt

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News 
(Chart issue week of March 11, 2017)

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

Future scored his fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart (BB200) as his new self-titled effort started atop the list, earning 140,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Feb. 23, according to Nielsen Music.
Future’s latest No.1 is also his fourth leader in a row, following Evol (2016), What a Time to Be Alive (with Drake) and DS2 (both in 2015). As for Future’s current No.1, more than half of its units were powered by streaming activity: 73,000 units (equalling 109 million streams of the album’s songs during the tracking frame). The rest of its units were comprised of traditional album sales (60,389) and track equivalent album units (7,000).
Ryan Adams claimed his fifth top 10 album on the Billboard 200 with the bow of PRISONER at No.8 (45,000 units; 41,666 in traditional album sales). Adams last visited the top 10 in 2015, with his interpretation of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album, also called 1989. Adams’ version debuted and peaked at No. 7.
Prisoner’s lead single, “Do You Still Love Me,” gave the singer/songwriter his ninth top 10 single on the Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart in January.

Alison Krauss with her new set WINDY CITY and her first solo album of new material since 1999’s FORGET ABOUT IT made a debut at No.9 on the Billboard 200 with 38,000 units (36,488 in traditional album sales).
In total, Windy City marked the country and bluegrass artist’s 10th charting effort: she’s charted four solo titles, a collaborative set with Robert Plant, and five with her band Union Station. 

Though Krauss has been releasing albums since 1985, she did not reach the all-genre Billboard 200 chart until 10 years later, when the retrospective Now That I’ve Found You: A Collection, entered the chart dated Feb. 25, 1995. (Her first album to visit the Top Country Albums chart was 1991’s I’ve Got That Old Feeling, which reached No. 61.)

On the Billboard 200, Krauss has now reached the top 10 four times -- with Windy City, Paper Airplane with Union Station (No.3; released April 12, 2011; 82,987 debut sales; 2-week #1 Top Country Albums), Raising Sand, with Robert Plant (No. 2; 2007; 112,308 debut sales) and the solo best-of package, A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection (No. 10; 2007; 72,771 debut sales).

Billboard Top Country Albums (Chart issue week of March 11, 2017)
Top Country Albums now ranks the most popular country albums of the week, as compiled by Nielsen Music, based on multi-metric consumption (blending traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA), and streaming equivalent albums (SEA)).
10 digital track sales from an album = 1 track equivalent album (TEA) “sale”
1,500 on demand song streams from an album to one streaming equivalent album (SEA) “sale”.
Nielsen Music compiles the sales and streaming data. Billboard continues to publish pure album sales charts (subscription to billboard biz ), exclusively comprising Nielsen’s sales data.

Alison Krauss with first solo album Windy City (Capitol), of new material since 1999, bounds in atop Billboard’s Top Country Albums and Bluegrass Albums charts (dated March 11) and No.9 on Billboard 200. It earns 38,000 equivalent albums (36,488 in pure sales) in its launch week, ending Feb. 23, according to Nielsen Music. (The latter list is purely sales-based.)
The Buddy Cannon-produced Windy City marked Krauss’ second No.1 and 10th top 10 on Top Country Albums. She first led with prior entry PAPER AIRPLANE, with Union Station, which flew in atop the survey dated April 30, 2011 (82,987 copies sold). She has charted all 10 top 10s on the list consecutively since 1995.

Windy City is Krauss’ first solo album of new material since FORGET ABOUT IT, which debuted and peaked at No.3 on the Top Country Albums chart dated Aug. 21, 1999.
In between, her solo best-of package A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection debuted and peaked at No.3 on the April 21, 2007, tally.

Over on Bluegrass Albums, the new LP is Krauss’ fourth consecutive (and total) No.1, following three with Union Station: Paper Airplane (28 weeks at No. 1), Lonely Runs Both Ways (55 weeks on top, beginning in 2004) and Live (a record 101 weeks at No. 1 starting in 2002).

All of Windy City’s songs were previously recorded by other artists, including “Gentle on My Mind” (John Hartford), “River in the Rain” (Roger Miller) and “I Never Cared for You” (Willie Nelson).

Krauss said, “On this album, I wanted to sing songs that are older than I am. There’s a real romance in singing other people’s stories.” "Making this record was really about Buddy," Krauss told Rolling Stone Country. "A lot of times my work comes from this place of what I call the 'inner-policeman.' You want to do a good job and do something that comes from within yourself and your standards. But as I've worked with Buddy through the years, I've found that my 'why' got attached to him when I work for him. He really makes me want to do a good job.
"Buddy's nickname in town is 'Ears,'" she continued. "In a town full of people who are all so talented, he got the nickname 'Ears.' He has such an instinct for music and is so interested in the personality of the musicians in the room. Getting to work with him again made me so inspired."
"I've never worked less on a record that took so long," joked Krauss. "Buddy kept looking at his watch, saying, 'We have to finish this before I turn 80!' I kept telling him, 'We've still got time!' He's only in his 60s."

Critical reception for Alison Krauss’ Windy City:
10 Tracks/ Time: 34:13 Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon. com

Allmusic (Rating: 4 Stars) It remains to be seen if Windy City is a brief creative detour for Alison Krauss or the first salvo of a new creative direction. But if Krauss wants to be the new voice of retro countrypolitan music, Windy City leaves no doubt that she has the talent and the intelligence to make it work, and this album is a richly satisfying experience.

Sounds Like Nashville Chuck Dauphin (Rating: Very Positive) ..There are some incredible ballads on this splendid album of obscure covers, but what is really dazzling are the songs
with a bit of tempo. When she sings “It’s Goodbye And So Long To You,” originally recorded by The Osborne Brothers, she attacks the song with as much vigor and swagger as anything she has done in quite some time.... The ballads are great, but when she’s got that fire and grit in her voice, it’s a sound to behold. All in all, this might very well be her most complete album in two decades. And, that is saying something very special!

The Independent (Rating: 3 Stars)... Save for a couple of uptempo trotters like the jaunty kiss-off “It’s Goodbye And So Long To You”, it’s mostly melancholy fare, with Krauss’s voice unerringly seeking out the despair in songs such as the Brenda Lee hits “Losing You” and “All Alone Am I”, and most heartbreakingly of all in a quietly effective interpolation of the Ray Charles tearjerker “You Don’t Know Me”.
The Times (UK) (Rating: 2 STARS) ...Alison Krauss, a Nashville singer of formerly impeccable taste who in 2007 made the Americana masterpiece Raising Sand with Robert Plant, has got in on the act and recorded a set of standards with the veteran Nashville producer Buddy Cannon.

Jessie James Decker with ‘GOLD (Epic), her third EP, matched her highest arrival on Top Country Albums as the five-song set started at No.5 (#33 Billboard 200); with 15,000 equivalent album units (12,371 in pure sales, marking her best sales week). Her 2012 debut EP, Comin’ Home, also debuted (and peaked) at No.5 (11,144 sold), while her second, 2015’s This Christmas, launched and peaked at No.16 (5,600 copies).

The 5-song project, which blends “homey country twang with bright pop sparkle” (Los Angeles Times), sold more than 12,000 albums and 17,000 songs in its first week of release, giving Jessie her highest first week sales to date. GOLD has amassed more than 800,000 streams in the seven days since it was released.

Late last week, Jessie shared a series of video vignettes for songs from the newly released project. Her family, including husband Eric Decker and children Vivi and Bubby, are featured in the clip for title track, “Gold.” View all the videos >> HERE.

Produced by Daniel Agee and recorded at his studio in Nashville, the project’s sultry lead single >> “Lights Down Low,” has garnered more than 6.5 million streams on Spotify. GOLD features tracks written by powerhouse songwriters Jeffrey Steele and Jesse Frasure and Grammy winning artist Maren Morris. Jessie is co-writer on two of the EP’s five tracks.

Brantley Gilbert with THE DEVIL DONT SLEEP (Valory) rose 5-3 (25-30 BB200) with 10, 314 copies sold (down 27%; 4-week total 109,800).
Keith Urban with RIPCORD (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville) fell climbed 3-4 (23-31 BB200) selling 7,924 copies (down 32%; 42-week total 469,700)

Garth Brooks with THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION climbed 4-2 (24-12 BB200) with 29,338 copies sold (up 43%, 11-week total 495,500).

Last weeks and 2-week No.1 Reba McEntire with Sing It Now: Songs Of Faith & Hope (Rockin' R/Nash Icon | BMLG) fell 1-6 (16-34 BB200) selling another 13,936 copies (down 45%; 3-week total 91,300)
Chris Stapleton with TRAVELLER (MERCURY/ UMGN) held at #7 (41-35 BB200) selling 7,766 copies (down 8%; 95 week total 1,742,500).
Florida Georgia Line with DIG YOUR ROOTS moved 12-8 (66-53 BB200) selling 3,497 copies in their 26th frame

Brett Young with self-titled debut full-length (BMLG) dropped 2-9 (18-55 BB200) selling 5,400 copies in his second frame for a 2-week total 23,230
Thomas Rhett with TANGLED UP (Valory) held at #10 (58-56 BB200) selling 2,667 copies (down 13%; 74-week total 544,300).

Outside The Top 10
Maren Morris with HERO (Columbia Nashville) fell 6-11 (26-59 BB200) with 4,864  10,469 copies sold (down 54%; 38-week total 189,400).
Jason Aldean with THEY DON'T KNOW (Macon/Broken Bow) slipped 9-13 (55-82 BB200) selling 3,829   6,845 copies (down 44%; 24-week total 340,500)

Outside The Top 25
One other album charted on the consumption-based methodology top 50 Top Country Album chart.

Yippee-Ki-Yay-Ki Yay: Nikki Lane with HIGHWAY QUEEN (New West Records) made a debut at #41 on Top Country Albums and #96 on the Top 200 Selling Albums with 2,557 copies sold.

In the UK it made a bow at #7 on UK Country iTunes (#328 UK iTunes Overall Albums)
Nikki shared: The Highway Queen is an alter ego: a character created out of necessity, so that I could survive the road. I have shared all my stories, secrets, and insecurities with you since the day I put out Walk of Shame, and this will be no different. Thanks to my team Lee Foster and Erika Wolf for not letting me quit, the label for letting me hammer away at this thing till it was just right, Jonathan Tyler for telling me we could do it my way, and Chris Phelps for directing this video. Here's to 60,000 miles in 2017 as the Highway Queen.

Nikki Lane - "Jackpot" [Official Video]

Critical reception for Nikki Lane’s Highway Queen:
10 Tracks/ Time: 36:57  Amazon UK - UK iTunes - |

Country Standard Time (Rating: Positive) Nikki Lane has been applying for this job for some time. "Highway Queen" is her third release following "All or Nothin'," produced by Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and a high watermark that generated some decent buzz. This time, the co-producing team of Jonathan Tyler, a veteran songwriter most recently by way of Texas,
and Lane have a good sense that the voice is something of the star here. Lane, perky and light in her speaking voice, sings with a vintage vibrato. You'll hear comparisons to Dusty Springfield or Lucinda Williams - even better might be name checking the early '90s singer Sophie B. Hawkins. But whoever it sounds like most, it's impressive. It goes great with sustained John Fogerty-styled guitar like on the opener "700,000 Rednecks." Or put Lane's pipes on the standout track "Jackpot," and you've got a scorcher of a rockabilly good time. Surely Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis would approve.

Uncut (Rating: 80/100) Highway Queen feels like the kind of record that should bump Lane to another level.
The LA Times (Rating: 80/100) The Nashville-based artist loads songs with sometimes five or six guitars, and while she roots all of them in country, there are outreaches to vintage rock ’n’ roll or western soul. The precise genre sometimes remains elusive, but Lane’s boldness never wavers.
The Guardian (Rating; 3 STARS) Seven hundred thousand rednecks – that’s what it takes to get to the top,” yells Nashville singer Nikki Lane, having calculated exactly where she wants to be. After working with producers including the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, her third album sees her take more control, along with boyfriend Jonathan Tyler, for a boisterous collection of firecracking “outlaw country.” .. The beautiful, pedal steel-laden Forever Lasts Forever mourns a failed marriage. It makes for a convincingly personal but still universal portrait.

The Observer (UK) (Rating: 3 STARS) Mixing country sweetness with rock swagger, Lane’s set takes in music biz demographics (700,000 Rednecks) and gambling metaphors (Jackpot), while songs such as Companion and Forever Lasts Forever save a little room for vulnerability.

Year-To-Date Albums
2,872,000 (Physical sales 1,936,000 (down -10.9%) + Digital sales 936,000 (down -22.1%)) which is 15.0% down at the same point in 2016 (2,904,000 sales) 

Year-To-Date Digital Tracks
10,970,000 down 22.2% at the same point in 2016 (14,109,000)

Billboard Hot Country Songs (Chart issue week of March 11, 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:

Sam Hunt with “Body Like a Back Road” (MCA Nashville) led for a third week.

Jason Aldean achieved his 26th top 10, as “Any Ol’ Barstool” (Macon/Broken Bow) rolled 15-8. The track held at its No.10 high on Country Airplay (26.2 million, up 3%).
Luke Combs The Asheville, N.C., native’s format debut "Hurricane" lifted 9-6 on Country Streaming Songs (4.7 million U.S. streams, up 15%), helping it surge 19-13 on Hot Country Songs. On Country Airplay, it pushed 20-19, gaining 20% to 13.3 million in audience.

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (3 weeks)/ Airplay Gainer ** “Body Like A Back Road” Sam Hunt
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.19 “Small Town Boy” Dustin Lynch
** Digital & Streaming Gainer ** No.21 “God, Your Mama, And Me” Florida Georgia Line feat. Backstreet Boys
Debut No.40 “When Someone Stops Loving You” Little Big Town

Billboard Country Airplay (Chart issue week of March 11, 2017)

Little Big Town with “Better Man,” penned by Taylor Swift, led Country Airplay for a second week (41.4 million impressions, up 3%)

Lauren Alaina banked her first top 10 in her sixth appearance on the chart, as “Road Less Traveled” (19/Interscope/Mercury) lifted 11-9 (26.8 million, up 9%). The song, which Alaina wrote with Meghan Trainor and Jessie Frasure, is the title track from her second LP, which debuted at No. 3 on Top Country Albums (Feb. 18).

Alaina, who finished as the runner-up to Scotty McCreery on the 2011 season of American Idol, previously peaked at a No.28 high on Country Airplay with “Georgia Peaches” (2012), her second charted single.
She notched two other top 40-charting songs: her 2011 debut, “Like My Mother Does” (No.36), and 2012’s “Eighteen Inches” (No.34).
What made the difference for “Road” to reach the Country Airplay top 10? “The vocal comes from the heart, and the production uniquely matches the message,” radio consultant Joel Raab told Billboard.
“Lauren sings so well, and it’s just a great message.” WKLB Boston program director Mike Brophey concured: “ ‘The Road Less Traveled’ is just a better song,” he said. “The vocals are strong and passionate, and the lyrics are compelling and relatable. It was a slow builder for us but has kicked in nicely. While Lauren has had previous releases, to many listeners, in their minds, this is her first.”

The lead single “Somethin’ I’m Good At” from Brett Eldredge’s upcoming album made a bow at No.32 on Country Airplay (6.2 million audience impressions) bagging Hot Shot Debut, Biggest Gainer and Most Added stripes. It marked his highest entrance among his 12 chart appearances. 2015 leader “Lose My Mind” marked his previous highest bow (No. 34).

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (1 week) *** "Better Man” Little Big Town 41.427 million audience (+1.342 million) / 7,867 radio plays (+189)
** Hot Shot Debut/ Most Added/ Most Increased Audience ** No.32 “Somethin’ I’m Good At” Brett Eldredge 6.232 million audience gain thanks to 52 fresh radio commitments (ADDS)

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart
(Chart issue week of March 11, 2017)

Sam Hunt with Body Like a Back Road” (MCA Nashville) held at No.1 on the Billboard Country Song Sales Chart for a fourth successive frame. On the Digital Song Sales chart, it rose 6-4 four places behind the No.1 “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran.

Dustin Lynch with “Small Town Boy” made a debut at No.2 (#24 Digital Songs)
Keith Urban with “The Fighter,” featuring Carrie Underwood (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville), slipped 2-3 (#9-30 Digital Songs) in their 4th week.
Little Big Town with “Better Man” slipped 3-4 (#31-34 Digital Songs) whilst their smash hit “Girl Crush” moved 10-11 in its 88th chart frame and new pre-grat album track “When Someone Stops You” made a debut at #13.
Jon Pardi with “Dirt On My Boots” rose 6-5 (#44-39 Digital Songs) in his 22nd week.
Florida Georgia Line feat. Backstreet Boys made a re-entry at #6
Brett Young with “In Case You Didn’t Know” fell 5-7 in his 21st frame.
Kelsea Ballerini with “Peter Pan” held at #8 in her 34th week.
Keith Urban with “Blue Ain’t Your Color” fell 7-9 in his 32nd week.
Michael Ray with “Think A Little Less” moved 11-10 in his 10th week
Outside the Top 10
Luke Combs with “Hurricane” jumped 21-12 in his 13th week
Chris Young feat Vince Gill with “Sober Saturday Night” fell 9-14
Maren Morris with “My Church” fell 4- 20 as the Grammy award and performance buzz began to fade
Zac Brown Band with “My Old Man” slipped back 12-15 in their third week.

Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

27 February 2017

Little Big Town Hits #1 With 'Better Man' For Second Consecutive Week

Congrats to Little Big Town, Royce Risser, Bobby Young, David Friedman and the Capitol promotion team on scoring a second week at No.1 with “Better Man.”
The song logged 8,677 radio spins (+296) and 58.966 million audience impressions with 26278 Total Points from 158 tracking stations for the tracking week February 19 to February 25, 2017 and published chart February 27th 2017

Kudos to Katie Bright and the WMN regionals on notching 49 adds for Brett Eldredge’s Somethin’ I’m Good At”. The song topped the "Most Added" board this chart week.

Somethin' I'm Good At...Eating Bagels...

Atlantic/WMN artist Brett Eldredge earned 49 Mediabase adds with his single, "Somethin' I'm Good At," making it the most-added single at Country radio.

Bagels were delivered to the Warner Music Nashville team to congratulate them on Brett's single as well as Blake Shelton's most-added "Every Time I Hear That Song" last week. 
Pictured L-R: WMN Nat'l Dir./Radio & Streaming Katie Bright and Regional Mgr./Radio & Streaming Mallory Opheim.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 539 - Feb 27, 2017 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here -

Billboard Boxscores (Selective Country concerts)
Rank Artist: #18
Event Venue City/State: Eric Church Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex Birmingham, Ala.
Dates: Feb. 17, 2017 Gross Sales: $899,884 Attend: 17,031/ 17,031       
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/1 ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $89, $18
Promoters: Messina Touring Group/AEG Live
Rank Artist: #29
Event Venue City/State: Donny Osmond Eventim Apollo London, U.K.
Dates: Jan. 31, Feb. 1, 2017 Gross Sales: $486,812 Attend: 5,613/ 7,108
Shows/ Sellouts: 2/0 ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $94.03, $48.58
Promoters: Kilimanjaro Live/AEG Live
Rank Artist: #35
Event Venue City/State: Brantley Gilbert, Tucker Beathard, Luke Combs, Brian Davis KFC Yum! Center Louisville, Ky.
Dates: Feb. 25, 2017 Gross Sales: $372,740 Attend: 10,470/ 10,470
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/1 ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $39.75, $29.75
Promoters: Frank Productions/NS2/CMoore Live
Latest Billboard Boxscore Chart

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