Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Country Billboard Chart News May 8, 2017

Country Billboard Chart News May 8, 2017

In Brief: Billboard Country Charts (Chart issue week of May 20, 2017)

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (1 week) GOD’S PROBLEM CHILD Willie Nelson
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (13 weeks) ** “Body Like A Back Road” Sam Hunt
Country Airplay ** No.1 (3 weeks) ** “Body Like A Back Road” Sam Hunt
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 (14 weeks) ** “Body Like A Back Road” Sam Hunt

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News (Chart issue week of May 20, 2017)

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

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. held steady atop the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart (BB200) for a third week, as the set earned 173,000 equivalent album units in the week ending May 4 (down 28%), according to Nielsen Music.
Of DAMN.’s units for the week, 56,557 were in traditional album sales (down 37%). The rest were in TEA (12,000; down 16%) and SEA (105,000; down 23%).
DAMN. has spent more weeks at No. 1 than any of Lamar’s previous leaders. He spent one week at the top with Untitled Unmastered in 2016, and two weeks at No. 1 with To Pimp a Butterfly in 2015.
Coming in at #2, Gorillaz made a statement with its Humanz album. The project earned 139,548 total units in its first week and did 115,063 in pure album sales, a feat for any project these days. This ties the group’s highest Billboard 200 placement, as 2010’s Plastic Beach reached the same position.
Mary J. Blige returned to the Billboard 200 with STRENGTH OF A WOMAN, which made a debut at No. 3 with 78,000 units (72,095 in traditional album sales). The set gave the queen of hip-hop/soul her highest charting album in more than seven years – since STRONGER WITH EACH TEAR debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Jan. 9, 2010-dated list.

Rounding out the top 10 was Willie Nelson, who made a bow at No.10 with GOD’S PROBLEM CHILD (36,000 units; 34,385 in traditional album sales). It’s the music legend’s sixth top 10 effort – four of which have occurred since 2013.
CHART HISTORY: He has visited the top 10 previously with DJANGO AND JIMMIE (30,408 debut sales; No.7 in 2015, with Merle Haggard), BAND OF BROTHERS (37,441 debut sales; No.5; 2014), TO ALL THE GIRLS… (No.9; released Oct 15, 2013), ALWAYS ON MY MIND (No.2; 1982) and Wanted! The Outlaws (No.10 in 1976, with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser).

Billboard Top Country Albums (Chart issue week of May 20, 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.

Willie Nelson Tops Country Album Charts With 'God's Problem Child'
Country legend Willie Nelson with GOD’S PROBLEM CHILD (Legacy) bounded in atop the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart (dated May 20), earning 36,000 equivalent albums, with 34,385 in pure sales, during its first week (ending May 4), according to Nielsen Music.

Nelson notched his 17th No.1 on Top Country Albums (and third to arrive at the summit). He ascended to a solo share of the second-most chart-toppers, passing Garth Brooks and Merle Haggard, each with 16. Among all artists, George Strait leads with 26 No.1s on the chart, which launched in 1964.
Beyond the new release’s chart-topping status, Nelson adds his record extending 50th top 10 title on Top Country Albums.
Fellow icons Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and Strait share second place with 40 top 10s each.
Meanwhile, Nelson updated his status as the oldest living artist to crown Top Country Albums. Born April 29, 1933, he just celebrated his 84th birthday.

Nelson last led the list, at age 82, with DJANGO AND JIMMIE (alongside then-78-year-old Merle Haggard) on June20, 2015 (30,408 sold). Haggard died in 2016 on his 79th birthday (April 6).
Meanwhile, Lynn, who turned 85 on April 14 and is recovering after suffering a stroke (May4), debuted and peaked at No.4 on Top Country Albums with Full Circle on March 26, 2016 (a month shy of her 84th birthday).

God’s Problem Child is Nelson’s first No.1 on Top Country Albums without another artist since BAND OF BROTHERS debuted atop the chart dated July 5, 2014 (37,441 sold). When Brothers crowned the list, it closed a 28-year gap between chart-toppers for Nelson; before that, he hadn’t reigned since June 7, 1986 (with THE PROMISELAND).
The new, 13-track album was produced by Nelson and Buddy Cannon, with the pair having co-written seven of its songs. A good amount of the material focuses on aging, while “Still Not Dead” was inspired by fake news stories that reported Nelson’s premature demise. During a recent interview with Jeremy Tepper, who programs SiriusXM’s Willie’s Roadhouse channel, Nelson said of the falsehoods, “I always loved them. Everybody’s so glad to see me.”
The last song on the LP, “He Won’t Ever Be Gone,” pays homage to Haggard. “You get to be our age, you see a lot of your buddies and friends pass on,” Nelson told Tepper. “It’s just inevitable. We’re all going to go one of these days... [But] not today.”

Critical reception for Willie Nelson’s God's Problem Child:

(28 April 2017) (Sony Music Entertainment/ Legacy Recordings)
13 Tracks/ Time: 44:14 (CMP April 2017; 4 STARS) Spencer Leigh

Rollingstone (Rating: 4 STARS) Our take on the 83-year-old country icon's latest, on which the passage of time is rendered with timeless wisdom and beauty....Set to longtime producer Buddy Cannon's sparse, elegant country arrangements, these songs are brimming with bleak prophecy and spiritual acceptance, as Nelson ponders his eternal home ("Little House on the Hill"), everlasting compassion ("True Love"), and his fallen comrade Merle
Haggard ("He Won't Ever Be Gone"). On songs like "Your Memory Has a Mind of Its Own" and "Old Timer," Nelson addresses his devastating second-person meditations about physical deterioration to himself, a clever narrative device that packs a heavy punch

By Gregory Katz, Associated PressWillie's back, thank goodness. " God's Problem Child " is Willie Nelson's first CD of completely new material in three years, and his advanced age (Don't look now, he turns 84 on April 29) hasn't dulled his pen, his voice, or his simple, eloquent guitar. Strip away the mythology, the rivalries, the battles with the IRS and the fondness for marijuana, and you're left with the music, its powerful mood set by a soft, direct voice that seems to have grown more expressive over the years. This is a warm, mellow work, with few surprises but many moments to savor. It's taken decades for Nelson to sound this comfortable and relaxed

Uncut (Rating: 8/10) The country legend takes stock: Planted firmly at the center of God’s Problem Child, “Still Not Dead” is one of Willie’s modern masterpieces and the centrepiece of an album that can stand comfortably alongside any of his iconic work......God’s Problem Child continues that tradition—approaching life and love from angles that can only result from a career spent studying both with a restless sense of wonder. It’s the kind of perspective that most songwriters can only dream of attaining: for Willie Nelson, it’s just another day at the office.

Paste Magazine (Rating: 8.7 | 87/100) 
...In a youth-obsessed world, God’s Problem Child flies in convention’s face. On the languishing title track, penned by Jamey Johnson and swamp rocker Tony Joe White, Willie Nelson enlists the song’s co-writers and Leon Russell to consider living on one’s own time and terms...... Sifting the seeds and stems of lost love, disappointment and mortality, Nelson’s slightly out of time, note-stretching voice is porous, yet strong on the somber “True Love.” Belying the saccharine title, the spare arrangement moves beneath his clear-eyed assessment of how hard, yet wonderful, love is....Nelson lives to play. Until he’s called home, it’s a safe bet the music is going to keep coming. If it’s the quality of God’s Problem Child, it will be as vital as anything he’s done.

Allmusic (Rating: 4 Stars) Mortality hangs over God's Problem Child, Willie Nelson's first solo album of original songs since 2014's Band of Brothers. Since that record, Willie lost several friends and he's also been the subject of several death hoaxes, a subject he tackles with a grin on "Still Not Dead," one of seven originals Nelson co-wrote with his longtime producer, Buddy Cannon.....All these songs hang together -- they're songs about love, loss, memory, and mistakes -- but God's Problem Child isn't a song cycle, nor is it a major statement. It's simply an uncommonly strong latter-day record from Willie Nelson: there isn't a hint of fussiness and the songs and the performances are so understated, they only seem richer with repeated spins.

Pop Matters (Rating: 8/10) ..There is a soullessness to the music of current chart toppers like Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line and others trafficking in what amounts to little more than pop music with a twang and requisite references to all things blue collar and redneck.....So to hear any sort of organic instrumentation on a modern country album is a breath of fresh air, a relief from the claustrophobia of the NashVegas assembly line…..While perhaps not a definitive artistic statement, God’s Problem Child is nonetheless an indisputable high point in this late stage of Nelson’s career, one that will no doubt go down as required listening for those who would ever deign to question his continued cultural relevancy.

Keith Urban with RIPCORD (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville) held at #2 (#31 non-mover Billboard 200) selling 9,124 copies (up 12%; 52-week total 562,600).
Chris Stapleton with TRAVELLER (MERCURY/ UMGN) held at #3 (#36-35 BB200) selling 7,693 copies (up 7%; 105 week total 1,915,400).
Last weeks’ No.1 from Brad Paisley with LOVE AND WAR (Arista Nashville/Sony Music Nashville) fell 1-4 (#13-42 BB200) selling 10,022 copies (down 61%, 2-week total 35,600)
Brett Young with self-titled debut (BMLG) stuck at #5 (#45 non-mover BB200) selling 4,088 copies (down 3%; 12-week total 64,000).
Florida Georgia Line with DIG YOUR ROOTS (BMLG) fell 4-6 (#42-47 BB200) selling 2,602 copies (down 9%; 36-week total 384,400).
Thomas Rhett with TANGLED UP (Valory) held at #8 (#70-79 BB200) selling 1,740 copies (down 6%; 84-week total 570,000).
Little Big Town with THE BREAKER lifted 22-9 (152-86 BB200) selling 5,318 copies (up 92%; 10-week total 104,900)
Miranda Lambert with THE WEIGHT OF THESE WINGS (Vanner/ RCA Nashville/Sony Music Nashville) fell 7-10 (69-89 BB200) selling 4,140 copies (down 15%, 24-week total 342,700).

Outside the Top 10
Jon Pardi with CALIFORNIA SUNRISE held at #11 (#86-92 BB200) selling 2,122 copies (down 5%; 46-week total 144,200).

Jason Aldean with THEY DON'T KNOW (Macon/Broken Bow) fell 10-12 (#84-96 BB200) selling 2,582 copies (down 12%; 33-week total 373,600).
Brantley Gilbert with THE DEVIL DONT SLEEP (Valory) fell 9-13 (#83-98 BB200) with 3,088 copies sold (down 11%; 14-week total 162,900).

Old Crow Medicine Show with 50 YEARS OF BLONDE ON BLONDE (Live) made a debut at #14 (#115 BB200) selling 6,335 copies (the 32nd best seller & 5th best country release in the US this frame)
Old Crow Medicine Show does the tribute thing with an ode to Bob Dylan's classic release. The release was recorded live at the CMA Theater located inside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum located in Nashville in May 2016.

Critical reception for Old Crow Medicine Show’s 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde (Live):

14 Tracks/ Time: 1:04:42
Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com

Country Standard TimeRather, the band simply emulates the original arrangements, enhancing the melodic tunefulness in songs such as "Visions of Johanna," "I Want You" and "Just Like a Woman," and upping the energy level on "Stuck Inside Of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" and "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine" to the extent that they rock like never before. Likewise, Ketch Secor's lead vocals captures the ragged endurance of Dylan's trademark scratch and sprawl, not so much as imitating him but rather, bringing all its edgy impertinence to the fore.
No one can ever stand in for the Bobster, of course, but it's also fair to say that no one could do as superb a job of revisiting a masterpiece such as "Blond on Blonde" with the ferocity and determination accorded it by Old Crow Medicine Show. Consider this a masterpiece reborn. Kudos, Crows!

Allmusic (Rating: 4 Stars) Even when sticking largely to the original arrangements, the group performs with a giddiness that gives the music a fresh kick, and that energy is what makes this record something a little bit more than a run-of-the-mill tribute. Old Crow Medicine Show perform Dylan's songs as if they belonged to the band and, in a sense, that might be true: any album that survives 50 years belongs to the world at large, and what's fun about 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde is hearing how Old Crow Medicine Show hear an album you know by heart.

Spill Magazine (Rating: 3 STARS) ..When they cut loose and put on their own spin, such as their version of “Obviously 5 Believers”, they shine.  But sometimes they fall into the trap of not wanting to tinker with the classic material.  Given Dylan’s live performance and his habit of rearranging his own songs, I think Dylan would have appreciated the band taking some of the songs in different directions.... Here is a band covering Dylan, and it is more nostalgic than new takes on the music.

Dierks Bentley with BLACK (Capitol Nashville | UMGN) fell 15-17 (#126-133 BB200)
Kelsea Ballerini with THE FIRST TIME (Black River) rose 21-18 (147-135 BB200) selling 2,173 copies (up 33%; 103-week total 278,100)
Kane Brown with self-titled set Kane Brown fell 14-19 (#126-121 BB200) selling 2,881 copies (down 7%; 22-week total 144,200)
Blake Shelton with IF I’M HONEST (Warner Bros./WMN) slipped 17-20 (#128 BB200) in his 50th frame selling 1,664 copies.
Maren Morris with HERO (Columbia Nashville | SMN) fell 18-21 (132-142 BB200) selling 1,868 copies (down 7%; 48-week total 218,400).

Outside the Top 25
Josh Turner with DEEP SOUTH (MCA Nashville/Universal Music Group Nashville) fell off the Top 25 moving 25-29 selling 1,897 copies (down 17%, 8-week total 40,700).

Reba McEntire with Sing It Now: Songs Of Faith & Hope (Rockin' R/Nash Icon | BMLG) fell 29-32 (169 BB200) selling 3,570 copies (down 12%; 13-week total 166,800).
In its fourth frame Joey Feek with IF NOT FOR YOU (Farmhouse/Gaither/Capitol CMG), fell 30-35 selling 3,763 copies (down 13%; 4-week total 25,263).

On the Country Album Sales list (pure sales; old methodology)

Dalton Domino with CORNERS made a debut at #41 selling 800 copies. The band hail from Lubbock, Texas and comprise Dalton Domino (Vocals/Guitar), Michael Moad (Bass), Beau Bolfing (Guitar) and Chase Francis (Drums). The music is described as a “gritty blend of fast, energetic southern rock with a hint of everything from Americana, Red Dirt, and Texas Country to Delta Blues and Soul”

Year-To-Date Albums
6,749,000 (Physical sales 4,598,000 (down -12.3%) + Digital sales 2,151,000 (down -21.7%) which is 15.5% down at the same point in 2016 (7,991,000 sales) 

Year-To-Date Digital Tracks
25,067,000 down 23.2% at the same point in 2016 (32,619,000)

Billboard Hot Country Songs (Chart issue week of May 20, 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) dominated Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay, Country Digital Song Sales and Country Streaming Songs simultaneously for a third straight week. The track spent a 13th frame atop Hot Country Songs (which combines streaming, airplay and sales data).
It topped Country Digital Song Sales for a 14th week, down 10% to 51,000 downloads sold; Country Streaming Songs for a 13th frame (14.7 million U.S. streams, up less than 1%); and Country Airplay for a third week (44.9 million in audience, down 5%).

Darius Rucker rose to the top 10 on both Hot Country Songs (15-8) and Country Airplay (11-8; 28.3million, up 13%), scoring his ninth and 10th top 10, respectively, with “If I Told You” (Capitol Nashville). On Hot Country Songs, the track owed its leap partly to a 69-cent sale tag in the iTunes Store, as it surged 126% to 18,000 sold and flew 24-8 on Country Digital Song Sales.

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (13 weeks) ** “Body Like A Back Road” Sam Hunt
** Streaming Gainer ** No.2 “In Case You Didn't Know” Brett Young
 ** Airplay Gainer/ Digital Gainer ** No.8 “If I Told You” Darius Rucker
 ** Hot Shot Debut ** No.32 “Somewhere In My Broken Heart” Lauren Duski
Debut No.37 “Second One To Know” Chris Stapleton
Debut No.39 “In The Blood” John Mayer
Debut No.42 “River” Brennley Brown
Debut No.44 “Right Girl Wrong Time” Jon Langston

Billboard Country Airplay (Chart issue week of May 20, 2017)
Sam Hunt with “Body Like A Back Road' “ruled Country Airplay for a third week, despite a 5% audience dip to 44.9 million

Florida Georgia Line banked its 13th top 10 on Country Airplay (encompassing all of the duo’s proper singles promoted to radio) as “God, Your Mama, and Me” (BMLG Records), featuring Backstreet Boys, rose 12-10 (24.2 million, up 9%). Backstreet Boys reach the top tier in their first visit to Country Airplay and earned their first top10 on any Billboard airplay chart since 2005, when the pop group’s “Incomplete” reached No. 4 on the Adult Contemporary tally.

Country Airplay
*** No.1 (3 weeks) *** “Body Like A Back Road' Sam Hunt 44.93 million audience (-2.188 million) / 7,928 radio plays (-589)
** Hot Shot Debut/ Most Increased Audience/ Most Added ** No.26 “Either Way” Chris Stapleton 7.434 million audience gain thanks to 57 fresh radio commitments (ADDS)
Debut No.48 “She’s With Me” High Valley
Debut No.51 “Til Tomorrow” Walker McGuire
Debut No.60 “All On Me” Devin Dawson

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart
(Chart issue week of May 20, 2017)

Sam Hunt with Body Like a Back Road” (MCA Nashville) held at No.1 on the Billboard Country Song Sales Chart for a fo 14th week selling 52,000 downloads (down 9%; 14-week total 856,000).
On the overall Digital Song Sales chart, it fell back 3-7, six places behind the No.1 “I'm The One” by DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper & Lil Wayne (171,000 downloads sold, in the week ending May 4, according to Nielsen Music).

Brett Young with “In Case You Didn’t Know” held at #2 (#16 non-mover Digital Songs; 30,000 sales; 31-week total 500,000) and reached GOLD status.
Keith Urban with “The Fighter,” featuring Carrie Underwood (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville), held at rose #3 (#25 non-mover Digital Songs; 24,000 sales; 18-week total 490,000).

Luke Combs with “Hurricane” held at #4 (#33-28 Digital Songs; 23,000 sales; up 15%; 23-week total 369,000).

The Voice season 12 contestant Lauren Duski with “Somewhere In My Broken Heart” (written and recorded by Billy Dean) made a debut at #5 (19,000 sales). Lauren whose coach is Blake Shelton performed it on Episode 21 (Top 11 week; Monday, May 1)  

Darius Rucker with “If I Told You” jumped 24-6 (#40 Re-Entry Digital Songs; 18,000 sales; 19-week total 252,000).
Thomas Rhett feat. Maren Morris with “Craving You” lifted 9-7 (14,000 sales; 5-week total 116,000).
Florida Georgia Line feat. Backstreet Boys with “God, Your Mama, And Me” held at #8 (14,000 sales; 13-week total 265,000).
Jon Pardi with “Dirt On My Boots” fell 6-9 (13,000 sales; 32-week total 553,000).
Lady Antebellum with “You Look Good” held at #10 (12,000 sales; 15-week total 198,000)

Outside the Top 10
Chris Stapleton with “Second One To Know” made a debut at #11 selling 11,000 copies as “Broken Halos” (Mercury) fell 5-15; (10,000 sales; down 34%, 3-week total 63,000)

The Voice Season 12 contestant Brennley Brown with "River" (Joni Mitchell 1971) made a debut at #12 (11,000 sales). Brennley who is one Team Gwen Stefani >> performed the song on Episode 21 (broadcast Monday, May 1).

Miranda Lambert with “Tin Man” slipped 12-13 (11,000 sales; down 8%; 7-week total 122,000).
Dylan Scott with “My Girl” fell 13-14 (10,000 sales; 16-week total 217,000).
Georgia native, Jon Langston with “Right Girl Wrong Time” made a debut at #18 selling 9,000 downloads.

Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

8 May 2017

Congrats again to Sam Hunt, Royce Risser, Katie Dean, David Friedman and the MCA promotion team on earning a second week at No.1 with “Body Like A Back Road.” The song is the first single from Hunt’s upcoming album. It marked the first single to maintain a two-week run at #1 since Little Big Town's "Better Man" held for two weeks in February (Feb 27).

Body Like A Back Road logged 8,653 radio spins (+440) and 58.868 million audience impressions (-2.988 million) with 26030 Total Points from 157 tracking stations for the tracking week April 30 to May 6, 2017 and published chart May 8th 2017.

Kudos to Damon Moberly and the Mercury team (photo left) on landing 79 adds for Chris Stapleton’s Either Way”. 

The song topped the "Most Added" board this chart week.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 549 - May 8, 2017  [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here - www.mediabase.com

Billboard Boxscores (Selective Country concerts)

Rank Artist: #5
Event Venue City/State: Eric Church U.S. Bank Arena Cincinnati, Ohio
Dates: April 22, 2017 Gross Sales: $1,322,826 Attend: 16,736/ 16,736
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/1 ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $129, $29
Promoters: Messina Touring Group/AEG Presents

Rank Artist: #23
Event Venue City/State: Jason Aldean, Chris Young, Kane Brown Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Fort Wayne, Ind.
Dates: April 28, 2017 Gross Sales:  $564,974 Attend: 9,156/ 9,156
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/1 ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $70.25, $50.25, $35.25
Promoters: Live Nation

Rank Artist: #41
Event Venue City/State: Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Cole Swindell        Reno Events Center Reno, Nev.
Dates: April 30, 2017 Gross Sales: $391,105 Attend: 6,410/ 6,410
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/1 ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $69.50, $59.50, $39.50      
Promoters: Live Nation

Rank Artist: #73
Event Venue City/State: Dean Brody, High Valley, James Barker Band Tribute Communities Centre Oshawa, Ontario
Dates: April 29, 2017 Gross Sales: $127,717 Attend: 3,233/ 3,500
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/0 (267 unsold tickets) SOLD OUT ** Prices: $47.62, $28.94    
Promoters: Live Nation/Spectra

Latest Billboard Boxscore Chart

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