Dixie Chicks Dominate Country Singles and Albums

The Dixie Chicks dominate the country charts this week as “Travelin’ Soldier” climbs to the top of the Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks. With the latest chart reporting period having ended prior to Natalie Maines’ March 10 comment in London regarding President George W. Bush, it’s too early to tell if a backlash is impacting the group’s album sales. At this point, the trio’s Home still hasn’t budged from No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.

Elsewhere on the singles chart, Darryl Worley ’s patriotic “Have You Forgotten?” is making a meteoric rise while Kenny Chesney has his eye on No. 1 for “Big Star.”

Gary Allan , who had last week’s No. 1 with “Man to Man,” slips to No. 2. With Joe Nichols ’ “Brokenheartsville” moving up one notch, Chesney’s single makes an impressive leap to No. 4 from No. 9. Alan Jackson ’s “That’d Be Alright” climbs one slot to No. 5, Blake Shelton ’s “The Baby” slips three posts to No. 6 and Mark Wills ’ “19 Somethin'” slides two spots to No. 7. Tim McGraw ’s “She’s My Kind of Rain” climbs to No. 8 from No. 10, but Worley’s “Have You Forgotten?” shows the most impressive performance of the week by jumping to No. 9 from No. 22. Rounding out the Top 10 is Terri Clark “I Just Wanna Be Mad,” which falls from No. 7.

Warner Bros. newcomer Dusty Drake has the week’s highest-debuting single with “One Last Time.” Other singles making their chart debut are Brad Paisley ’s “Celebrity” (No. 56), Clark’s “Three Mississippi” (No. 57) and George Strait ’s “The Real Thing” (No. 60).

With the Dixie Chicks continuing to enjoy the No. 1 perch on the albums chart, Shania Twain ’s Up! Remains at No. 2, and Strait’s For the Last Time: Live From the Astrodome stays at No. 3. Johnny Cash makes the greatest gain of the week with American IV: The Man Comes Around climbing one position to No. 4. Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors slips one notch to No. 5, Toby Keith ’s Unleashed moves upward one slot to No. 6 and Chesney’s No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems makes a two-position leap to No. 7. Shelton’s The Dreamer holds steady at No. 8, with Faith Hill ’s Cry slipping to No. 9 from No. 6. After a few weeks out of the limelight, Martina McBride ’s double-platinum Greatest Hits returns to No. 10.

The only country album making a chart debut this week is Today’s Country, a budget two-CD collection feature cover versions of top country hits.

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.