Atkins Has Top Song, Swift Keeps Album Crown

Joe Nichols' Real Things, Kenny Chesney's "Don't Blink" Lead New Titles

At last, the iron reign of Kenny Chesney’s “Never Wanted Nothing More” has come to an end, and now Rodney Atkins’ “These Are My People” crows at the top of Billboard’s country singles chart. But Taylor Swift has dug in the heels of her ubiquitous cowgirl boots and continues to anchor her self-titled debut album in the No. 1 slip.

There are two new albums in play this week. Joe Nichols’ critically hurrahed Real Things zips into the No. 2 berth, while Travis Tritt seizes the spot directly behind him with The Storm.

Seven songs are making their first chart appearance, led by Chesney’s “Don’t Blink,” which enters at No. 16. The others are Keith Urban’s “Everybody” (No. 37), Chuck Wicks’ “Stealing Cinderella” (No. 53), the Eli Young Band’s “When It Rains” (No. 55), Bon Jovi and LeAnn Rimes’ “Till We Ain’t Strangers Anymore” (No. 57), Van Zant’s “Go Down Easy” (No. 58) and Little Big Town’s “I’m With the Band” (No. 60).

Completing the Top 5 albums list are Brad Paisley at No. 4 with 5th Gear and Tim McGraw at No. 5 with Let It Go. Luke Bryan’s I’ll Stay Me, which debuted last week at No. 2, falls back to No. 9.

There’s been minuscule movement within the Top 5 songs. Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson’s “Because of You” progresses from No. 3 to No. 2, and Chesney’s “Never Wanted Nothing More” retreats to No. 3. Rascal Flatts’ “Take Me There” spends its second straight week at No. 4. Brooks & Dunn’s “Proud of the House We Built” holds at No. 5.

Things are looking good for McGraw’s “If You’re Reading This.” It strides from No. 14 to No. 10. Also having a nice week are Underwood’s “So Small,” flowing from No. 15 to No. 11, and the Eagles’ “How Long,” which jumps from its last-week entry level of No. 44 to No. 33.

Class dismissed.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to