Faith Hill’s Cry Dominates Album Charts

Almost a half-million Americans have already sought newfound Faith. More to the point, 472,000 fans purchased copies of Faith Hill ’s new album, Cry, during its first week at retail to top two Billboard charts.

First-week sales of Cry pushed Elvis Presley ’s ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits out of a three-week reign at the top of the Billboard 200 (which includes all music styles) and the trade publication’s Top Country Albums chart. Hill racked up the best first-week sales by a female country solo artist since SoundScan began tracking sales totals in 1991. However, the Dixie Chicks still lead this year’s country pack by selling more than 770,000 copies of their latest album Home within a week of its August release.

Keith Urban ’s “Somebody Like You” is spending a third consecutive week atop Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. Diamond Rio ’s “Beautiful Mess” spends another week at No. 2, with Alan Jackson ’s “Work in Progress” climbing one notch to No. 3. Martina McBride “Where Would You Be” slips one position to No. 4, Montgomery Gentry ’s “My Town” rises one slot to No. 5 and Phil Vassar ’s “American Child” dips one notch to No. 6. Climbing one slot each are the Dixie Chicks “Landslide” (No. 7) and Rascal Flatts “These Days” (No. 8). George Strait ’s “She’ll Leave You With a Smile” enters the Top 10 at No. 9, and Joe Nichols’ “The Impossible” falls from No. 7 to No. 10.

Blake Shelton ’s “The Baby” arrives at No. 48 as the highest-debuting country single of the week. Other debuts include Nichols’ “Brokenheartsville” (No. 56) and Cross Canadian Ragweed’s “17” (No. 57). Michael Peterson, who scored a No. 1 in 1997 with “From Here to Eternity,” returns on a new label with “Lesson in Goodbye” (debuting at No. 58). Hank Williams Jr. enters the chart at No. 60 with “Outdoor Lovin’ Man.”

On the country album chart, Hill’s No. 1 debut knocks Presley to second place. The Dixie Chicks’ Home is pushed back one slot to No. 3 and Toby Keith ’s Unleashed holds steady at No. 4. Urban’s Golden Road slips to No. 5 after debuting last week at No. 3. Kenny Chesney ’s No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems spends a second week at No. 3, LeAnn Rimes Twisted Angel slides from No. 5 to No. 7 and the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack falls one notch to No. 8. McBride’s Greatest Hits dips one position to No. 9, and Jackson’s Drive spends a third week at No. 10.

Hill’s chart performance dominates the spotlight, but Tammy Cochran debuts at a very impressive No. 11 with her second album, Life Happened, and Randy Travis arrives at No. 18 with his new inspirational project, Rise and Shine. With guest appearances by Vince Gill , Alison Krauss , Ricky Skaggs and others, the Chieftains’ Down the Old Plank Road: The Nashville Sessions debuts at 21. Buddy Miller ’s Midnight and Lonesome enters the country album chart at No. 50.

Calvin Gilbert has served as’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.