Rodney Atkins Still Going Strong on Country Charts

Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley Retain No. 1 Positions on Billboard

If you’re going through a career breakthrough, keep on going. Rodney Atkins has certainly taken that advice as he continues to excel on Billboard’s first country charts of 2007. His current single, “Watching You,” climbs to No. 2 on the singles chart, just behind Brad Paisley’s “She’s Everything,” which spends its second week at No. 1. On the albums chart, If You’re Going Through Hell is up to No. 4, trailing the latest albums from Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban.

Not everybody in the Top 10 has Atkins’ momentum this week. On the singles chart, Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish” descends to No. 3, and Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl” dips to No. 4. George Strait’s “It Just Comes Natural” climbs one notch to No. 5. Two previous No. 1 singles — Sugarland’s “Want To” and Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” — are at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively. Jason Aldean’s “Amarillo Sky” and Taylor Swift’s “Tim McGraw” hold onto No. 8 and No. 9. Newcomer Jason Michael Carroll enters the Top 10 for the first time with “Alyssa Lies.”

With so many of the Top 10 singles on their way out, look for a rush of contenders ascending the chart in the coming weeks. Sure bets include Urban’s “Stupid Boy” (No. 14 in its seventh week) and Martina McBride’s “Anyway” (No. 16 in its eighth week). Kellie Pickler’s “Red High Heels,” which dragged the bottom part of the singles chart upon its release, now kicks up to No. 18 with a bullet. In addition, Kenny Chesney’s “Beer in Mexico” cracks the Top 40 in its second week of release, beaching at No. 35.

Two new songs appear on the airplay chart this week: Sugarland’s “Settlin'” at No. 49 and McGraw’s “The Last Dollar” at No. 50. Incidentally, both videos premiered this week on

Sugarland also places at No. 5 on the country albums chart, followed by Swift’s self-titled debut, which jumps six spaces to No. 6. Paisley’s Time Well Wasted, Josh Turner’s Your Man, Paisley’s Brad Paisley Christmas and Strait’s It Just Comes Natural round out the Top 10.

Craig Shelburne has been writing for since 2002. He is also a producer for CMT Edge, Concrete Country and Live @ CMT.