Did you notice Shania Twain was everywhere last week? From the CMA Awards to Good Morning America to a domino festival in the Netherlands, the superstar’s exposure paid off as her Greatest Hits sold 530,000 copies in its first week of release. The album enters at No. 1 on the Billboard country chart and No. 2 on the Billboard 200, just behind Eminem’s Encore. Twain now boasts the largest debut for a hits collection in country music history, second only to Beatles 1 in all categories.
Another country superstar, Toby Keith, lands at No. 2 with Greatest Hits 2, selling 435,000 copies in its first week. He enters the Billboard 200 at No. 3, just ahead of Britney Spears’ Greatest Hits: My Prerogative.
Meanwhile, George Strait’s 50 Number Ones falls to No. 3 on the country chart. Settling in at No. 4, Gretchen Wilson’s Here for the Party enjoyed a 74 percent sales boost after her performance of “When I Think About Cheatin’” on the CMA Awards. Winning the Horizon Award didn’t hurt either. Tim McGraw’s Live Like You Were Dying follows at No. 5. With its title track winning the CMA trophies for single and song of the year, McGraw’s album sales jumped 31 percent.
Other CMA winners earned major sales increases as well: Rascal Flatts’ Feels Like Today (up 59 percent) at No. 7, Kenny Chesney’s When the Sun Goes Down (up 60 percent) at No. 8, Brooks & Dunn’s The Greatest Hits Collection II (up 16 percent) at No. 9, Keith Urban’s Be Here (up 61 percent) at No. 10, Brad Paisley’s Mud on the Tires (up 38 percent) at No. 11 and Martina McBride’s Martina (up 56 percent) at No. 12.
They didn’t win anything at the CMAs, but a memorable performance from Big & Rich helped Horse of a Different Color saddle up and ride to No. 6 on the country albums chart with a sales increase of 53 percent. Fellow nominees Sara Evans, Alan Jackson, Jimmy Buffett, Terri Clark, Dierks Bentley, Reba McEntire, Julie Roberts and Josh Turner also earned significant sales increases following the awards.
George Jones’ three-disc set, 50 Years of Hits, enters the country albums chart at No. 20, followed by Randy Travis’ Passing Through at No. 23 and the all-star compilation Shimmy Down the Chimney: A Country Christmas at No. 71. In addition, Billy Currington’s self-titled debut re-enters the chart at No. 60.
Meanwhile, Lonestar’s “Mr. Mom” holds on for its second week at No. 1 on the country airplay chart. Gary Allan’s “Nothing On but the Radio” inches up two spots to No. 2, as Brooks & Dunn’s “That’s What It’s All About” falls to No. 3. Chesney’s “The Woman in You” climbs to No. 4, ahead of McGraw’s “Back When” at No. 5. Blake Shelton’s “Some Beach” rises to No. 6, trailed by Phil Vassar’s “In a Real Love” at No. 7, Bentley’s “How Am I Doin’” at No. 8, Keith’s “Stays in Mexico” at No. 9 and Darryl Worley’s “Awful, Beautiful Life” at No. 10.
With fans chirping about their performance on the CMAs, Keith’s duet with his daughter Krystal, “Mockingbird,” nests at No. 41 as the week’s highest debut. Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone” arrives at No. 45, Trent Willmon’s “Home Sweet Holiday Inn” checks in at No. 57 and Vassar’s “I’ll Take That as a Yes (The Hot Tub Song)” soaks up the No. 60 spot.