Carrie Underwood Rules Country Charts

American Idol Winner Has No. 1 Single and Album

In simultaneously topping both of Billboard primary country charts this week, 22-year-old Carrie Underwood has accomplished a career milestone most country recording artists only dream of.

After just 12 weeks on the chart, Underwood has scored her first No. 1 single with “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” On the country albums chart, her double-platinum debut project, Some Hearts, remains at the top spot — where it has nested nearly every week since it was released in November.

Underwood’s national profile will increase even more with fashion photos appearing in the current issues of Allure and Teen Vogue magazines and an upcoming cover story in Cosmo Girl!.

Both country charts remain slightly sluggish as the radio and music industries recovers from their holiday lull.

Underwood knocks George Strait from No. 1 on the singles chart, pushing “She Let Herself Go” to second place while Billy Currington’s “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right” spends a second week at No. 3. Trace Adkins’ “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” shakes its way from No. 5 to No. 4 as it pushes Garth Brooks’ “Good Ride Cowboy” down a notch to No. 5. Dierks Bentley’s “Come a Little Closer” stays at No. 6 while Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton climb one rung to No. 7 with “When I Get Where I’m Going.” Tim McGraw’s “My Old Friend” makes a three-space jump to land at No. 8, Little Big Town’s “Boondocks” remains at No. 9 and Joe Nichols’ “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” tumbles three levels to No. 10.

Proving that the record companies are getting back into the swing of things following the holiday break, two new singles debut on this week’s country chart. Rodney Atkins’ enters the list at No. 53 with “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows).” Gary Allan’s “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” arrives at No. 58.

With Underwood continuing her reign of the country albums chart, The Legend of Johnny Cash — a single CD retrospective of his entire career — remains at No. 2 for a second week. More than two years after his death, sales of Cash’s extensive music catalog have again skyrocketed, thanks in large part to the recent biopic, Walk the Line. A multi-disc boxed set, The Legend, rises four spaces to land at No. 59 on the country chart. Even the Walk the Line soundtrack album — which features actor Joaquin Phoenix singing Cash’s songs — has climbed to No. 10 this week.

Other Top 10 country albums include Rascal Flatts’ Feels Like Today (rising to No. 3), Kenny Chesney’s The Road and the Radio (slipping to No. 4), Adkins’ Songs About Me (ascending to No. 5) and Faith Hill’s Fireflies (descending to No. 6). Keith Urban’s Be Here moves up to No. 7, Sugarland’s Twice the Speed of Life falls to No. 8 and Reba McEntire’s Reba #1’s holds steady at No. 9.

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