Saturday, 17 June 2017

Country Billboard Chart News June 12, 2017

Country Billboard Chart News June 12, 2017

In Brief: Billboard Country Charts (Chart issue week of June 24, 2017)

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (1 week) THIS ONE’S FOR YOU Luke Combs
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (18 weeks) ** “Body Like A Back Road” Sam Hunt
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** "If I Told You” Darius Rucker
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 (18 non-consecutive weeks) ** “Body Like A Back Road” Sam Hunt

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News (Chart issue week of June 24, 2017)

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

Pop singer-songwriter Halsey notched her first No.1 album on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart (BB200), as her second full-length studio effort, HOPELESS FOUNTAIN KINGDOM, debuted atop the list. The set, which was released on June 2 through Astralwerks Records, earned 106,000 equivalent album units in the week ending June 9, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 75,551 were in traditional album sales.
Hopeless Fountain Kingdom follows Halsey’s first full-length album, Badlands, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 115,000 units earned in its first week. Of that sum, 97,000 were in album sales.
Halsey’s new album is the first by a woman to be No.1 on the Billboard 200 in 2017. The last leading lady to top the chart was Lady Gaga, whose Joanne album debuted on the list dated Nov. 12, 2016 — more than seven months ago.

Luke Combs saw his debut full-length album, THIS ONE’S FOR YOU, bow at No.5 with 43,000 units (35,009 in traditional album sales). The new album is the artist’s second release to chart, following the same-named This One’s for You EP, which peaked at No.151 in May. The new album was ushered in by Combs’ debut chart single “Hurricane,” which spent two weeks at No.1 on the Country Airplay chart.

Billboard Top Country Albums (Chart issue week of June 24, 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.

Luke Combs 'This One's For You' Is #1 Country Album
Luke Combs with his debut full length LP, THIS ONE’S FOR YOU (River House/Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville), arrived at No.1 on Billboard Top Country Album Chart, selling 35,009 copies.
This One’s for You was produced by Scott Moffatt, the disc features a dozen songs, all co-written by Combs.
The set expands upon his same-named EP, which entered the Top Country Albums chart dated Dec.19, 2015, at No.36 with 2,000 sold.

Hurricane,” the first single from This One’s for You, topped Country Airplay for two weeks (May 27 and June 3) and peaked at No.3 on Hot Country Songs (May 6). Sophomore single “When It Rains It Pours” will impact radio on June 19.
Combs’ No.1 debut on Top Country Albums is the first since RaeLynn’s WILDHORSE (April 15;  20,000 equivalent album units; 16,447 in pure sales) and the first by a solo male since Kane Brown’s self-titled full-length (Dec. 24, 2016; 45,000).

Celebrating the album release Combs joined his fellow "Hurricane" loving pal, Jim Cantore, on The Weather Channel's AMHQ (May 16) to unveil plan for three back-to-back album preview shows. Cantore and The Weather Channel offered an interactive experience, "Tracking LUKE COMBS," as part of the release event, following Combs on the tour and offering behind-the-scenes looks at life on the road and opportunities to get an insider's view of each show. The three-day event will kick off Tuesday, June 30th at Joe's On Weed Street in Chicago. Combs also hit Nashville's The Basement East on Wednesday, May 31st and The Grey Eagle in Ashville, NC on Thursday, JUNE 1st. "Some of my best memories of the songs off this album are playing them live at bars and clubs around the country for a rowdy crowd," said Combs. "I can't think of a better way [to] kick off release week for this record than getting loud, playing these songs, and having a beer with fans in some of my favorite cities."

Promoting the album Combs appeared on NBC-TV's "TODAY" show as part of the CITI Concert Series (June 5) to perform his debut #1 single, "Hurricane."  Luke chatted with "TODAY" hosts Savannah Guthrie and Carson Daly about his road to success and the unlikely path he took to the top of the charts. Check out the conversation and his performance here.
Combs also performed what will be his next radio single, "When It Rains It Pours". Check out that performance here.

Critical reception for Luke Combs’ This One's For You:
(2 June 2017) 12 Tracks/ Time: 42:53 Amazon UK - UK iTunes -

Allmusic (Rating: 3.5/ 5): This One's for You, is anchored by the slow-burning "Hurricane," a ballad that takes its cues from Sam Hunt's R&B rhythms but showcases Combs' big, gruff voice.... Combs can also veer toward the middle of the country-pop road, whether it's on the breezy island vibes of "Don't Tempt Me," the cautionary tale "Be Careful What You Wish For," or "Memories Are Made Of," which has a modern gloss even though its title invites nostalgia.... he simmers on "One Number Away," he conjures brokenhearted soul on the title track, and he offers a sweet, spare, backporch love song "I Got Away with You" -- and they're the songs that anchor the record while pointing toward a potentially long career for this singer.

Entertainment Focus Pip Ellwood-Hughes (Rating: 3.5/5) .The album’s lead single is the perfect combination of contemporary and traditional country. The production is sleek and polished, the chorus is designed for radio and Combs’ voice is distinctive, bringing to mind a slightly less husky Chris Young....The album is enjoyable and it’s definitely a grower but there are moments where tracks start to blend into one. Cries that Combs is the new Chris
Stapleton are way off the mark but what he does have in common with that trailblazer is his voice.....This One’s For You is a solid debut effort from Combs. For me it lacks that defining moment that more recent breakout stars like Chris Stapleton or Drake White have had. Hurricane is the album’s best moment but it’s no Whiskey and You or Makin’ Me Look Good Again. Combs shows a lot of potential with this album but for me he would benefit by stripping it back a bit more to let his voice strike an emotional connection with the listener.

NPR (Rating: Positive)…On This One's For You, a debut album written and recorded before major labels came knocking, the singer and songwriter proves himself to be an astute student of both the genre's trends and conventions. Combs easily bridges the two with his grasp of Music Row songcraft (he's deft at finding new life in familiar idioms) and his instinct for humanizing songs with his performances. His determination to at least co-write his songs dates back to the disappointment he felt upon discovering that many of the genre's giants didn't generate their own material...And if anybody has what it takes to build a big, broad, generation-spanning audience, it's Combs.

Sounds Like Nashville by Chuck Dauphin (Rating;Positive): ....
There are moments on Luke Combs’ debut project that I think “Oh, no. This again.” Take for instance, when I hear the truck motor revving up on the opening title cut. One keeps reading about the fact that “Bro-Country,” as it is known, is losing a little bit of its’ luster. I felt it again when I heard the can opening up on “Beer Can,” or the crowd-like chant at the beginning of “Memories Are Made Of This.” In each song, you kinda get the feeling that what you’re about to hear is what has been done before – and before – and before. Then, he sings, and I drop any pre-conceived notions that I might have had.....Combs has been setting the Country Music landscape afire as of late with his chart-topping hit “Hurricane.” The song is a perfect marriage of production and vocals.
Maybe, just maybe, I had my mind made up before I listened to This One’s For You that it was going to be one way. Of course, as a critic / reviewer / journalist, I would never admit that. But, I will say that Luke Combs has effectively shown me up. So, there! In fact, I’m going to go celebrate that fact with another listen. This album is that good!

Saving Country Music (Rating: 1.1/4 Guns Down (4.5/10)….In the grand scheme of things in the mainstream world, here’s a guy who’s actually not a prima donna. Luke Combs looks the part, writes his own songs, and sings them with passion and authority. If I was at a party with a bunch of Sam Hunt and Florida Georgia Line fans, I’d be wallflowering like hell......But folks I’m sorry, except for the last two songs of this record and a few other outlying moments, Luke Combs’ This One’s For You is one of the most aggressively formulaic projects in both style and song structure you will find out there. I’m talking more formulaic than even Florida Georgia Line. I have to go back to Chris Young’s 2015 I’m Comin’ Over to find a comparable album so unwilling to take chances, and so reliant on paint by number song structures.... But I want more from Luke Combs because I know he has it in him. I want to hear the real Luke Combs, and not just in a few tracks like a teaser. And unfortunately This One’s for You just doesn’t get there. It lets you down more than it delivers.

Chris Stapleton with From A Room: Volume 1 (Mercury/Universal Music Group Nashville) fell 1-2 (8-15 Billboard 200) selling 22,916 copies (down 27%; 5-week total 364,399) while Stapleton’s TRAVELLER (MERCURY/ UMGN) slid 2-4 (#29-38 BB200) selling 8,139 copies (down 15%; 110-week total 1,972,300).

Zac Brown Band with WELCOME HOME (Southern Ground/Elektra/Atlantic Group) held at No.3 (31-28 BB200) selling 14,457 copies (up 14%; 4-week total 188,978).
Keith Urban with RIPCORD (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville) climbed 6-5 (48-43 BB200) selling 6,108 copies (up 16%; 57-week total 594,700).
Brett Young with self-titled debut (BMLG) fell 4-6 (#40-45 BB200) selling 4,469 copies (up 8%; 17-week total 85,500).
Florida Georgia Line with DIG YOUR ROOTS (BMLG) fell 5-7 (#47-51 BB200) selling 2,440 copies (up 1%; 41-week total 396,800).
Thomas Rhett with TANGLED UP (Valory) held at #9 (#73-70 BB200) selling 2,537 copies (up 81%; 89-week total 584,500).

The second LP from the irreverent country comedian Wheeler Walker Jr. with OL’ WHEELER (Pepper Hill/ Thirty Tigers) made a debut atop Billboard’s Comedy Albums chart and at No.10 on Top Country Albums with 8,000 equivalent album units including 7,819 in pure sales. It was the 5th best seller on Country Album Sales and No.27 on the all genre Top 200 Album Sales in America this chart frame.

OL’ WHEELER followed his debut set, REDNECK SHIT, which arrived (and peaked) at Nos.1 and No. 9 on the lists, respectively (5,780 copies; chart dated March 5, 2016; #127 Billboard 200/ #9 Country)
The unrepentant country music outlier released the second Dave Cobb-produced album on June 2; NSFW lyric video for first single “Pussy King” was unveiled Feb. 14 with Rolling Stone Country as the “Nashville pariah” just kept challenging the country music status quo. 

To celebrate the news, the “unfathomably obscene and undeniably offensive” (Rolling Stone Country) released lyric video on Valentine’s Day. The album originally went to preorder on Pledge Music but was later pulled by the crowd funding platform.

Wheeler was said to have “one of the buzzier releases of 2017” and that “he’ll be hustling his ass hard at places like the Academy of Country Music Awards in April and the CMA Music Festival in June in a ballsy attempt to grab your attention”. More outrageous publicity stunts were said to take place following the release of his video for “Drop ‘Em Out” on after all – and libellous statements throughout.

Critical reception for Wheeler Walker Jr’s Ol’ Wheeler:
11 Tracks/ Time: 33:09 Amazon UK - UK iTunes -

Saving Country Music (Rating: 1.1/2 Guns Up (7/10)… Some have mislabeled, or poorly assessed Wheeler Walker Jr. as parody. That’s not what it is at all. From the standpoint of Wheeler Walker Jr., he is singing songs in a completely serious manner. It’s his public persona that is quick to go after pop country artists and media personalities. However in the run up to Ol’ Wheeler, Walker Jr. also courted folks like pop country radio personality Bobby Bones, and Taste of Country editor Billy Dukes. He’s worked with the godawful Whiskey Riff, and whomever he thought could help push his music to the public.
Possibly the most damning thing is that none other than Shane McAnally co-writes a song on this record, and seems to be on board for the whole sham….. The bigger Wheeler Walker Jr. has become (And he is big. Big enough to legitimately challenge for the #1 record in country), the more polarizing he’s become as a subject. But for what it is, and what it’s supposed to be, which is country comedy for adults, harking back to the smut country of folks like Roy Acuff and others, and filling a void where country music needs an anti-hero, it remains a pretty damn genius piece of performance art, both in the recorded context, on the stage, and via social and traditional media, even if the comedic value of these songs themselves is somewhat fleeting, which can be expected. But if you try to bring it too far out from behind the curtain, that’s when you run the risk of it becoming too exposed and troublesome. Once again the prevailing question for Wheeler Walker Jr. is, “Where do you go next?” But somewhat surprisingly, he’s done it a second time, and people are still laughing.

Outside the Top 10
Miranda Lambert with THE WEIGHT OF THESE WINGS (Vanner/ RCA Nashville/Sony Music Nashville) rose 13-12 (110-100 BB200) selling 3,217 copies (up 22%; 29-week total 359,300).

Kane Brown with self-titled KANE BROWN (Zone 4/RCA Nashville) fell 11-14 (#94-114 BB200) selling 2,382 copies (down 9%; 27-week total 157,400)
In their third chart frame Rascal Flatts with BACK TO US (Big Machine/BMLG) fell 8-16 (#55-120 BB200) selling 4,377 copies (down 40%; 3-week total 36,945).

Brantley Gilbert with The Devil Dont Sleep (Valory | BMLG) fell 17-24 (135-155 BB200) selling 1,989 copies (up 8%; 19-week total 174,300).

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

Brian Davis with his 6 track EP- RAISE 'EM UP TO RIGHT NOW (Twangville; Amazon UK - UK iTunes - made a debut at No.41.
A Thousand Horses with their 13 track album BRIDGES (Big Machine; Amazon UK - UK iTunes - made a debut at No.42.
This new release was said to “put a new spotlight on this band of brothers” – Michael Hobby (lead vocals), Bill Satcher (lead guitar), Zach Brown (guitar), and Graham Deloach (bass). Bridges shows their fusion of Southern rock and country soul, featuring six new tracks and seven acoustic live renditions – including a version of their breakout #5 smash, “Smoke.”
Lead single “Preachin’ to the Choir” has so far a highest rank of #55 peak on Billboard Country Airplay (Chart dated June 10, 2017). A laid back, lighters-in-the-air anthem, the summertime rocker is all about living life for good times and Saturday nights – and surrounding yourself with people who do the same.

Year-To-Date Albums
8,970,000 (Physical sales 6,021,000 (down -13.3%) + Digital sales 2,949,000 (down -20.4%) which is 20.4% down at the same point in 2016 (10,649,000 sales) 

Year-To-Date Digital Tracks
32,134,000 down 23.3% at the same point in 2016 (41,863,000)

Billboard Hot Country Songs (Chart issue week of June 24, 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” ties for the third longest reign, 18 weeks, on Hot Country Songs.
It’s the longest rule since Florida Georgia Line’s “H.O.L.Y.” led for 18 weeks in 2016.
FGL’s “Cruise” holds the record with 24 weeks at No.1 in 2012 and 2013, followed by Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk On By” (19 weeks, 1961-62); thus, with one more week on top, “Road” will match “Walk” for the longest command for a song by a solo male.
“Road” rules Country Streaming Songs (15.8 million U.S. streams, down 2%) and Country Digital Song Sales (47,000 downloads sold, down 5%) for an 18th week each. It logged an 11th week in the Country Airplay top five, holding at No. 3 (39 million in audience, down 2%) after leading for three weeks.
Hot Country Songs welcomes two new top 10s. Dylan Scott with “My Girl” (Curb) pushed 11-9, becoming his first top 10. It rolled on the strength of its 8% growth to 31.2 million impressions and rose 10-9 on Country Airplay.
Blake Shelton banked his 28th Hot Country Songs top 10: “Every Time I Hear That Song” (Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville) darted 12-10. The move was sparked by the song’s 11% boost to 36.5 million, as it lifted 8-6 on Country Airplay, and 40% surge to 9,000 sold, spurring a No.20 re-entry on Country Digital Song Sales after he performed the song on June 7 at the 2017 CMT Music Awards.

Kelsea Ballerini’s lead single “Legends” from her upcoming second full-length arrived at No.41 on Hot Country Songs, to snag Hot Shot Debut honours, and No.50 on Country Airplay. It sold 9,000 downloads in less than two days of tracking following its June 7 release; Ballerini performed the song on the CMT Music Awards the same night.

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (18 weeks) ** “Body Like A Back Road” Sam Hunt
** Digital Gainer ** No.4 “The Fighter” Keith Urban feat. Carrie Underwood
** Airplay Gainer ** No.10 “Every Time I Hear That Song” Blake Shelton
** Streaming Gainer ** No.23 “Tin Man” Miranda Lambert
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.41 “Legends” Kelsea Ballerini
Debut No.46 “Sway” Danielle Bradbery
Debut No.48 “All The Pretty Girls” Kenny Chesney
Debut No.50 “Good Company” Jake Owen

Billboard Country Airplay (Chart issue week of June 24, 2017)

Darius Rucker with “If I Told You” (Capitol Nashville) ascended 2-1 in its 47th week on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart (dated June 24), increasing 5% to 44.1 million audience impressions in the week ending June 11, according to Nielsen Music.
The song is Rucker’s seventh Country Airplay No.1 and first since “Wagon Wheel” crowned the chart dated April 13, 2013.
“I have believed in this song so much, ever since I first heard the work tape from the writers of the song, Ross Copperman, Shane McAnally and Jon Nite,” Rucker told Billboard. “It feels awesome to watch a song you believe in so much have this kind of reach and connection. That feeling never gets old. It’s also happening as I’m finishing my [next] studio album, so to have this kind of support at country radio and have a No.1 off the album before it’s even released this fall is pretty humbling.”

“If I Told You” is one of only five songs to take at least 47 weeks to reach No.1 in the Country Airplay chart’s 27-year history. “I wasn’t a fan of the song initially, but it grew on me,” acknowledges KKBQ Houston program director Johnny Chiang. “It took a while for it to research with listeners as well. But once it took off, it really took off. Of late, it’s been a top tester.”
Hootie & The Blowfish frontman Rucker first led Country Airplay with his debut single at the format, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” for two weeks beginning Oct. 4, 2008. He followed with “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” (three weeks, March 28, 2009), “Alright” (one, Aug. 15, 2009), “Come Back Song” (two, Nov. 6, 2010) and “This” (one, April 30, 2011).

Country Airplay
*** No.1 (1 week) *** "If I Told You” Darius Rucker 44.123 million audience (+2.153 million) / 7,929 radio plays (+467)
** Most Increased Audience ** No.6 “Every Time I Hear That Song” Blake Shelton +3.644 million audience gain
** Most Added ** No.43 “All The Pretty Girls” Kenny Chesney (28 ADDS)
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.50 “Legends” Kelsea Ballerini
Debut No.54 “Mess Me Up” Gary Allan

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart 
(Chart issue week of June 24, 2017)

Sam Hunt with Body Like a Back Road” (MCA Nashville) held at No.1 (6-4 Digital Songs; 47,000 sales; down 5%; 19-week total 1,102,000) leading the chart a 18th non-consecutive week.
It was three places behind Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber with "Despacito" which ruled the Digital Song Sales chart for a sixth week, with 141,000 downloads sold (down 5%) in the week ending June 8; the remix with Bieber accounts for 80 percent of the song's sales for a second consecutive week.

Brett Young with “In Case You Didn’t Know” held at #2 (#11-9 Digital Songs)
Keith Urban with “The Fighter,” featuring Carrie Underwood (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville), climbed 4-3 (#35-24 Digital Songs)
Thomas Rhett feat. Maren Morris with “Craving You” lifted 5-4 (#40-29 Digital Songs).
Luke Combs with “Hurricane” fell 3-5 (#28-32 Digital Songs)
Florida Georgia Line feat. Backstreet Boys with “God, Your Mama, And Me” held at #6 (46-36 Digital Songs)
Lady Antebellum with “You Look Good” rose 8-7 (#50-47 Digital Songs)
Midland with “Drinkin’ Problem” rose 9-8 (#49 Digital Songs).
Brothers Osborne with “It Ain’t My Fault” lifted 19-9.
Miranda Lambert with “Tin Man” rose 18-10.

Outside the Top 10
Dustin Lynch slipped 10-11 with “Small Town Boy” 
Kelsea Ballerini with new single “Legends” made a debut at #18.
Chris Stapleton with “Either Way” dropped 7-21 in his 5th frame.
Danielle Bradbery with “Swaymade a debut at #23.

Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

12 June 2017
Darius Rucker Hits #1 With 'If I Told You'
Congratulations to Capitol Nashville artist Darius Rucker for scoring the #1 spot on the Mediabase Country singles chart with his single, "If I Told You." Writers are Ross Copperman, Shane McAnally and Jon Nite. This is Rucker's first trip to the top of the charts in two years (May 30, 2015) and his eighth career #1 as a solo Country artist.

IF I Told You logged 8,654 radio spins (+784) and 56.679 million audience impressions (+3.533 million) with 25721 Total Points from 159 tracking stations for the tracking week June 4 to June 10, 2017 and published chart June 12th 2017.

Granger Smith Is Most-Added With 'Happens Like That'
Kudos to Teddi Bonadies and the Wheelhouse team for notching 46 adds for Granger Smith’s Happens Like That”. The song topped the "Most Added" board this chart week.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 554 - June 12, 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: #15
Event Venue City/State: Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, The Shadowboxers Mohegan Sun Arena Uncasville, Conn.
Dates: May 5-6, 2017 Gross Sales: $1,532,244 Attend: 11,686/ 11,686
Shows/ Sellouts: 2/2 ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $144, $104, $84
Promoters: Messina Touring Group/AEG Presents

Rank Artist: #20
Event Venue City/State: Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Joseph Tacoma Dome Tacoma, Wash.
Dates: May 27, 2017 Gross Sales: $1,321,429 Attend: 16,744/ 16,744     
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/1 ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $119.50, $89.50, $69.50
Promoters: Messina Touring Group/AEG Presents

Rank Artist: #45
Event Venue City/State: Jason Aldean, Chris Young, Kane Brown, Dee Jay Silver Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Tinley Park, Ill.
Dates: May 13, 2017 Gross Sales: $955,365 Attend: 24,253/ 26,544
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/0 (2,291 unsold tickets)  ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $71.75, $31.75
Promoters: Live Nation

Latest Billboard Boxscore Chart

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