Blake Shelton Flexes His Chart Muscle

Blake Shelton is still a relatively new artist, but this week’s music charts make him look like an established superstar. Shelton’s second album, The Dreamer, debuted in the Top 10 and his latest single, “The Baby,” hit No. 1.

The Dreamer debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, but it also entered the all-genre Billboard 200 at No. 8. “The Baby” ended Mark Wills ’ six-week ride atop Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks.

With Shelton at No. 1, Terri Clark ’s “I Just Wanna Be Mad” climbs one position to No. 2. Wills’ “19 Somethin’” falls to No. 3, and Aaron Lines ’ “You Can’t Hide Beautiful” remains at No. 4. Rising on the country singles chart are Gary Allan ’s “Man to Man” (No. 5 from No. 6), Joe Nichols ’ “Brokenheartsville” (No. 6 from No. 9) and the Dixie Chicks ’ “Travelin’ Soldier” (No. 7 from No. 10). Chart declines are noted for Brad Paisley ’s “I Wish You’d Stay” (No. 8 from No. 7), Emerson Drive ’s “Fall Into Me” (No. 9 from No. 5) and George Strait ’s “She’ll Leave You With a Smile” (No. 10 from No. 8).

Significant airplay increases are reflected for Kenny Chesney ’s “Big Star” (No. 17) and Keith Urban ’s “Raining on Sunday” (No. 19). Two newcomers on independent labels claim the highest-debuting singles of the week: Jerry Burkhart’s “Cryin’ Steel” (No. 56) and Renee McCrary’s “Angel” (No. 57). Songwriter Holly Lamar, whose credits include Faith Hill ’s “Breathe,” debuts at No. 59 with “Unkissed.”

Despite his triumph on the singles chart, Shelton stopped short of knocking the Dixie Chicks’ Home from the top of the country albums chart. With Shelton at No. 2, Shania Twain ’s Up! drops one notch to No. 3. With last week’s chart reflecting less than seven days of sales, Alabama’s In the Mood: The Love Songs makes a meteoric rise, moving to No. 4 from No. 69. Dropping two positions each are Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors (to No. 5) and Elvis Presley ’s ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits (to No. 6). Toby Keith ’s Unleashed dips one slot to No. 7, Hill’s Cry falls three posts to No. 8 and Chesney’s No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems slips two positions to No. 9. At No. 10 is Rascal FlattsMelt, which slides from No. 8.

Steve Wariner ’s Steal Another Day, the first project for his own Selectone label, debuts at No. 31, and Bering Strait’s self-titled debut album enters the chart at No. 75.

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