Keith Urban debuted at No. 1 on the country albums chart this week even though he canceled all promotional appearances because of his current stay in a California rehabilitation center. Released the day after he won the CMA Award for male vocalist, Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing sold 270,280 copies in its first week, landing in third place on the all-genre Billboard 200. Another new country album, Sugarland’s Enjoy the Ride, entered the country chart at No. 2 with 210,867 copies sold.
All of Urban’s fellow CMA winners saw significant boosts at retail, as well, according to data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. Sales of Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts surged 59 percent, placing her at No. 3. Underwood won the female vocalist and Horizon awards. The vocal group winner, Rascal Flatts, saw sales of Me and My Gang increase 45 percent, landing at No. 4. At No. 5, George Strait’s It Just Comes Natural jumped 22 percent. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame immediately after performing on the CMA broadcast.
Last week’s No. 1 album, American Idol finalist Kellie Pickler’s Small Town Girl, fell to No. 6. However, Josh Turner’s Your Man climbed to No. 7, with a 67 percent boost, after performing on the CMA telecast. Sales of Brad Paisley’s Time Well Wasted, named the CMA’s album of the year, spiked 101 percent to place him at No. 8. Alan Jackson’s Like Red on a Rose and Jimmy Buffett’s Take the Weather With You round out the Top 10.
Brooks & Dunn won the most CMA awards this year (single, song and video — all for “Believe”) and sales of Hillbilly Deluxe increased a whopping 222 percent, rising from No. 38 to No. 13. Entertainer of the year winner Kenny Chesney saw a sales boost of 55 percent for his 2005 album, The Road and the Radio, which climbed from No. 28 to No. 18. The recently-released Brad Paisley Christmas jumped from No. 42 to No. 31 after sales increased 86 percent.
Even though they left empty-handed, many performers on the show racked up big sales. The Wreckers’ Stand Still Look Pretty (No. 21) climbed 27 percent. Little Big Town’s The Road to Here (No. 22) increased by an impressive 122 percent. Other artists singing on the show with resulting sales increases include Jason Aldean, Faith Hill, Sara Evans, Gretchen Wilson and Miranda Lambert. However, albums from Dierks Bentley (No. 11) and Vince Gill (No. 19) decreased in sales despite performance slots on the show.
For the third week, Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” retains its No. 1 position on the Billboard country airplay chart. In fact, the Top 5 is exactly the same as last week: Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish” at No. 2, Chesney’s “You Save Me” at No. 3, Sugarland’s “Want To” at No. 4 and Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl” at No. 5. Urban’s “Once in a Lifetime” bumps up to No. 6, as Heartland’s “I Loved Her First” dips to No. 7. Bentley’s “Every Mile a Memory,” Montgomery Gentry’s “Some People Change” and Paisley’s “She’s Everything” complete the Top 10.
Martina McBride’s “Anyway” earns the week’s highest debut, entering at No. 40. She sang the ballad during the CMA Awards show. Other new singles include Gretchen Wilson’s “Come to Bed” at No. 51 (which also debuted at the CMA Awards), John Mellencamp’s “Our Country” at No. 53, Turner’s “Me and God” and No. 54 and Rushlow Harris’ “Bagpipes Cryin’” at No. 60.