George Strait and newcomer Chris Young made a major splash on Billboard’s country album chart this week while Josh Turner clings to the top of the country singles chart for a second week.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, Strait sold 232,000 copies of It Just Comes Natural to debut at No. 1 on the country albums list. On all-genre Billboard 200, he landed at No. 3 — right behind new albums by Evanescence and the Killers. Young, the latest Nashville Star winner, sold 36,000 of his self-titled debut album to enter at No. 3 on the country chart and at a respectable No. 22 on the Billboard 200.
The title track from Strait’s album netted the greatest increase in airplay for the week and climbed from No. 30 to No. 26 on the country singles chart.
And speaking of the singles chart, the tenacity of Turner’s “Would You Go With Me” keeps Heartland’s “I Loved Her First” at No. 2 for a second week. Dierks Bentley logs a two-notch rise to No. 3 with “Every Mile a Memory,” and Carrie Underwood’s climbs three rungs to No. 4 with “Before He Cheats.” Also climbing three places — to No. 5 — is Kenny Chesney’s “You Save Me.” Strait’s recent No. 1, “Give It Away,” continues its descent at No. 6. Keith Urban’s “Once in a Lifetime” falls slightly — from No. 6 to No. 7. “Building Bridges,” Brooks & Dunn’s project with Sheryl Crow and Vince Gill, tumbles four positions to No. 8. Two familiar names return to the Top 10 this week — Sugarland’s “Want To” (at No. 9) and Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish” (at No. 10).
Another newcomer, Jake Owen, scores the highest-debuting country single of the week. “Startin’ With Me” enters at No. 57. Kenny Rogers debuts at No. 59 with “The Last Ten Years (Superman)” and Billy Currington settles at No. 60 with “Good Direction.”
Strait’s arrival on the country albums chart pushed his occasional duet partner, Alan Jackson, to second place for Like Red on a Rose. With Chris Young at No. 3, Rascal Flatts’ Me and My Gang slips slightly to No. 4 as Underwood’s Some Hearts and Turner’s Your Man hold steady at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively. Chesney’s concert album, Live: Live Those Songs Again, falls from No. 2 to No. 7, Jerry Lee Lewis’ Last Man Standing: The Duets slides from No. 4 to No. 8 and Tim McGraw’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2 slips from No. 4 to No. 8. Trace Adkins closes out the Top 10 with Dangerous Man, which was at No. 7 last week.
In addition to the new albums from Strait and Young, a new CD compiling the work of the late Chris LeDoux also debuted this week. The Ultimate Collection entered at No. 33.