Reba Rings Out 2009 With No. 1 Song While Taylor Hangs In as Album Champ

Lady Antebellum and Phil Vassar Have Highest-Debuting Single and Album

How about a No. 1 single for Christmas? That’s Reba McEntire’s gift as “Consider Me Gone” scrambles into the top spot for the last week of 2009, dislodging Lady Antebellum’s long-running “Need You Now,” which scoots back to No. 2.

But Lady A can take comfort in knowing that its “American Honey” is the highest-debuting song of the week. It flows in at No. 47.

Taylor Swift, on whom the universe still beams, obviously played her Christmas cookies well, too. Her album Fearless ends 2009 just as it began it — solidly at No. 1.

Phil Vassar’s Traveling Circus is the only new album to chart this week. It enters at No. 29.

There are two other new songs: Swift’s “Fearless,” bowing at No. 50, and Gretchen Wilson’s “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” rumbling in at No. 54.

Rounding out the Top 5 albums, in descending order, are Carrie Underwood’s Play On, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw’s Southern Voice and the Zac Brown Band’s The Foundation.

The No. 3 through No. 5 songs are Luke Bryan’s “Do I,” Dierks Bentley’s “I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes” and McGraw’s “Southern Voice.”

That’s it, folks. Here’s hoping you avoided wreath rage and chestnut burns.

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