When country newcomer Blake Shelton finally struck in country — after having his first record label fold — he did so in a big way. His single, “Austin,” tops Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks and Country Single Sales charts this week.
On the Singles & Tracks chart, Shelton’s leap upward from No. 4 knocks Jamie O’Neal ’s “When I Think About Angels” from the top spot to No. 2. Montgomery Gentry ’s “She Couldn’t Change Me,” which peaked at No. 2, slides to No. 3. Toby Keith ’s “I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight” climbs a notch to No. 4, and Lonestar ’s “I’m Already There” drops to No. 5.
Collin Raye ’s “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Take That From Me” debuts at No. 57, and Aaron Tippin ’s “Always Was” comes onto the chart at No. 58. On the Country Single Sales chart, Shelton displaces another new artist from the top spot. Cyndi Thomson ’s “What I Really Meant to Say” had held the No. 1 spot for two months. It drops to No. 2.
As the soundtrack Down From the Mountain debuts at No. 10 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, three country soundtracks are in the top ten of that chart. O Brother, Where Art Thou? stays at No. 1 and Coyote Ugly remains in the No. 2 slot.
Down From the Mountain reflects the alt-country/roots music appeal of O Brother, being a soundtrack of a documentary of a concert staged by the principal artists from O Brother. The latter album is on Mercury Nashville; Mountain is on Mercury’s new alt-country spin-off label, Lost Highway.
Tracy Byrd ’s Ten Rounds debuts at No. 12, 3 of Hearts’ self-titled debut CD comes in at No. 45 and Sons of the Desert ’s Change, propelled by the success of “What I Did Right,” enters the album chart for the first time at No. 67, over a year after its release.