Strait and Gill Make Top 10 Chart Debuts

Blake Shelton and the Dixie Chicks remain at the top of the country charts this week, but George Strait and Vince Gill made strong showings with their latest albums. Strait’s For the Last Time: Live From the Astrodome debuts at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart — and at No. 7 on the all-genre Billboard 200. Gill’s Next Big Thing enters the country albums chart at No. 4.

Shelton’s “The Baby” spends a second week atop Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks, and the Chicks’ Home continues to enjoy a sturdy hold at No. 1 on the trade publication’s Top Country albums chart.

Shelton gained the No. 1 slot on the singles chart by moving aside Mark Wills ’ “19 Somethin’.” Wills’ single bounces back somewhat this week, moving to No. 2 from No. 3. Terri Clark ’s “I Just Wanna Be Mad” slips one position to No. 3, Gary Allan ’s “Man to Man” rises one slot to No. 4 and Aaron Lines ’ “You Can’t Hide Beautiful” falls a notch to No. 5. The Dixie Chicks’ “Travelin’ Soldier” climbs one position to No. 6, Joe Nichols ’ “Brokenheartsville” dips one post to No. 7 and Brad Paisley ’s “I Wish You’d Stay,” well, stays at No. 8. The week brought two new arrivals to the Top 10 — Alan Jackson ’s “That’d Be Alright” (No. 9) and Trace Adkins ’ “Chrome” (No. 10).

Wills racked up the highest-debuting single of the week with “When You Think of Me” entering the chart at No. 53. Kellie Coffey debuts at No. 58 with “Whatever It Takes,” Leland Martin arrives at No. 59 with “Hey Love, No Fair” and newcomer Jill King debuts at No. 60 with “One Mississippi.”

With the Chicks and Strait in the two top spots on the country albums chart, Shania Twain’s Up! spends another week at No. 3. Following Gill’s fourth-place debut, Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors holds steady at No. 5. McGraw’s wife, Faith Hill, climbs two notches to No. 6 with her double-platinum Cry. After debuting last week at No. 2, Shelton’s The Dreamer falls to No. 7. Toby Keith’s Unleashed slips one slot to No. 8, Elvis Presley’s ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits falls three positions to No. 9 and Alabama’s In the Mood: The Love Songs drops six positions to No. 10.

With an irreverent mix of comedy and music, Rodney Carrington debuts at No. 14 with his new album, Nut Sack. Willie Nelson’s historic Crazy: The Demo Sessions enters the chart at No. 34. The all-star tribute album, The Songs of Hank Williams Jr. — A Bocephus Celebration, debuts at No. 37.

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