With New Album, Faith Hill Flies Up the Charts

Toby Keith Remains As Good As He Ever Was on Country Singles List

Not that anyone was truly surprised by the early sales, Faith Hill’s Fireflies is undeniably the biggest chart story of the week. With Nielsen SoundScan reporting sales of 329,000 copies in the U.S., Fireflies simultaneously topped both the all-genre Billboard 200 chart and, of course, Billboard’s country albums chart.

In doing so, Hill became the first female artist to ever debut at the top of both charts with three consecutive albums. Hill, whose career sales total now exceeds 16 million, previously topped both charts with Cry in 2000 and Breathe in 1999.

Looking at Billboard’s country singles chart, Hill’s single, “Mississippi Girl,” is still near the top. However, there’s been little movement in the uppermost level of the singles list simply because Toby Keith proves he’s as good as he ever was — remaining at No. 1 for a fifth week.

The Warren Brothers, Hill’s friends who provided a song for Fireflies, debuted at No. 35 on the country albums chart with Barely Famous Hits while the new Johnny Cash boxed set compilation, The Legend, appears at No. 44.

With Hill in first place, Rascal Flatts’ Feels Like Today drops to No. 2, Keith’s Honkytonk University slips to No. 3 and Sugarland’s Twice the Speed of Life moves up a notch to No. 4. Moving down two rungs each are Keith Urban’s Be Here (at No. 5) and George Strait’s Somewhere Down in Texas (at No. 6). Gretchen Wilson’s Here for the Party rises to No. 7 while Jason Aldean’s self-titled debut album and Keith’s Greatest Hits 2 fall two slots each to land at No. 8 and No. 9, respectively. Big & Rich’s Horse of a Different Color stays hitched at No. 10.

The Top 3 country singles remain the same this week: Keith’s “As Good As I Once Was” followed by Sugarland’s “Something More” and Hill’s “Mississippi Girl.” Ascending one level each, Brooks & Dunn’s “Play Something Country” lands at No. 4. and Brad Paisley’s “Alcohol” bubbles to No. 5. Rising two slots each are Tim McGraw’s “Do You Want Fries With That” (to No. 6) and Sara Evans’ “A Real Fine Place to Start” (to No. 7). Rascal Flatts’ “Fast Cars and Freedom” screeches downhill to No. 8 as SHeDAISY’s “Don’t Worry ’Bout a Thing” falls to No. 9. And proving that country fans are willing to embrace Southern rockers, Van Zant enter the Top 10 with “Help Somebody.” The fraternal duo features .38 Special’s Donnie Van Zant and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Johnny Van Zant.

Martina McBride scores the week’s highest-debuting single as her cover of “(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden,” the Lynn Anderson classic written by Joe South, blooms at No. 53. Other country singles debuting this week include newcomer Luke Stricklin’s “American by God’s Amazing Grace” (entering the chart at No. 58) and Sawyer Brown’s “They Don’t Understand” (arriving at No. 59).

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.