If country music had an award for overachievers, this week’s prize would go to Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney. They’re the three members of Rascal Flatts , whose new album Melt debuted at the top of Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. The week also brought first CMA honor — the Horizon Award, a prize recognizing career growth.
Melt sold 169,000 copies during its first week of release to knock Faith Hill ’s Cry from the top of the country albums chart. Melt also debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, which tracks sales of all musical styles.
On Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, Keith Urban ’s “Somebody Like You” enjoys its fifth consecutive week at No. 1. The Dixie Chicks ’ “Landslide” spends its second week at No. 2, with Rascal Flatts’ “These Days” jumping three slots to No. 3 and Alan Jackson ’s “Work in Progress” dipping one slot to No. 4. Montgomery Gentry ’s “My Town” is at No. 5 for a third week, George Strait ’s “She’ll Leave You With a Smile” climbs two positions to No. 6 and Toby Keith ’s “Who’s Your Daddy?” jumps from No. 10 to No. 7. Diamond Rio ’s “Beautiful Mess” falls four spots to No. 8, Martina McBride ’s “Where Would You Be” slips two positions to No. 9 and Shania Twain rounds out the Top 10 with “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!”
Twain had the highest debuting country single of the week with “Up!,” the title track of her upcoming album, entering the chart at No. 57. Pinmonkey ’s “I Drove All Night” debuts at No. 59, and LeAnn Rimes ’ “Life Goes On” arrives at No. 60.
With Rascal Flatts topping the country albums chart, Hill’s Cry stands at No. 2. The Dixie Chicks’ Home spends another week at No. 3 and Elvis Presley ’s ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits falls two positions to No. 4. The all-star, all-hits compilation Totally Country Vol. 2 debuts at No. 5. Falling two positions each are Keith’s Unleashed (to No. 6), Kenny Chesney ’s No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems (No. 7), Urban’s Golden Road (No. 8) and Rimes’ Twisted Angel (No. 9). McBride’s Greatest Hits falls to No. 10 from No. 9.
Billboard’s Greatest Gainer of the week is Anne Murray ’s Country Croonin’, a two-CD set that climbs from No. 19 to No. 13. A substantial sales increase was also reported for Brooks & Dunn ’s new release, It Won’t Be Christmas Without You, which rises from No. 39 to No. 31. Two other holiday albums debuted this week — Lee Ann Womack ’s The Season For Romance (at No. 46) and Patty Loveless ’ Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas (at No. 58). John Anderson debuts at No. 73 with his greatest hits compilation, Anthology.