George Strait Flexes His Chart Muscle

His Ex's May Live in Texas, But Fans Across Nation Bought the CD

It’s not as though George Strait hadn’t already issued several greatest hits packages. But when he released the double-CD, 50 Number Ones, fans immediately bought 343,000 copies to ensure its debut at the top of the national pop albums chart, the Billboard 200.

Concurrently, Strait scored yet another No. 1 single when the album’s bonus track, “I Hate Everything,” topped Billboard‘s country singles chart.

Debuting at the top of the pop charts equals a No. 1 entry into Billboard‘s country albums chart, but showing on the Billboard 200 also placed Strait above two rock acts that debuted new albums this week. A greatest hits package from Korn debuted at No. 3, and the new title from Good Charlotte arrived at No. 4.

Strait’s presence on the country albums chart pushed the next six titles down one notch each. In second through seventh place, respectively, are Rascal Flatts’ new Feels Like Today, Tim McGraw’s Live Like You Were Dying, Keith Urban’s Be Here, Gretchen Wilson’s Here for the Party, Big & Rich’s Horse of a Different Color and Alan Jackson’s What I Do. As predicted, the 60 Minutes profile on Jimmy Buffett resulted in a sales increase for License to Chill, moving it up one level to No. 8. A John Denver compilation modestly titled Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits debuts at No. 9, and Brad Paisley’s Mud on the Tires slides three spaces to No. 10.

Aside from the John Denver set, the only other country album to enter the chart this week is newcomer Katrina Elam’s self-titled project for Universal South Records. Elam’s single, “No End in Sight,” remains at No. 34 on the country singles chart. The Oklahoma native will be gaining additional media exposure during her current tour with Keith Urban.

Strait’s move to the top of the country singles chart pushes Sara Evans’ “Suds in the Bucket” back to No. 2. For the second consecutive week, Urban’s “Days Go By” is at No. 3 and Wilson’s “Here for the Party” at No. 4. Climbing one rung each to fifth through seventh place, respectively, are Toby Keith’s “Stays in Mexico,” Phil Vassar’s “In a Real Love” and Brooks & Dunn’s “That’s What It’s All About.” Jumping two spaces each are Gary Allan’s “Nothing On but the Radio” (to No. 8) and Rascal Flatts’ “Feels Like Today” (No. 9). Lonestar’s “Mr. Mom” also climbs two spots to round out the Top 10.

Newcomer Miranda Lambert scored the highest-debuting single of the week with her major label debut, “Me and Charlie Talking.” The 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Lindale, Texas, got the industry’s attention by entering the singles chart at No. 42. Lee Ann Womack debuts at No. 58 with “I May Hate Myself in the Morning.”

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.