Yes, Chris Stapleton and Thomas Rhett Still Command the Charts

Grascals and Steven Tyler Have Highest Album and Airplay Debuts

By now they’ve surely formed a presidential commission to determine if Chris Stapleton’s Traveller and Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man” should be declared permanent No. 1’s on Billboard’s top country albums and top country airplay songs charts.

They’ve both been there so long, they’ve practically become homesteads.

It’s routine for an album to hold the high ground for weeks at a time but rare that a song settles in for long-term residence the way “Die a Happy Man” has. This is its fifth consecutive week in the chart penthouse.

It boils down to a mere drip-drip-drip of new music rather the robust flow that used to greet the first quarter of a new year. Well, as the Everly Brothers sang, maybe tomorrow.

And so to the business at hand: One new album and two new songs.

The Grascals, that hell-for-leather bluegrass gang, enters the albums chart at No. 49 with the breathlessly-titled And Then There’s This.

Returning to contention are the eponymous Maren Morris EP (No. 33), Blake Shelton’s Bringing Back the Sunshine (No. 47) and Dustin Lynch’s Where It’s At (No. 50).

Joey + Rory’s Country Classics: A Tapestry of Our Musical Heritage makes a sizable leap — from No. 44 to No. 35.

The new songs are Steven Tyler’s “Red, White and You,” making its debut at No. 57, and Jennifer Nettles’ “Unlove You,” checking in at No. 58.

Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey” — the song that caused such a sensation on the CMA Awards show when he sang it with Justin Timberlake — bounces back in at No. 59.

Completing the Top 5 albums array, in descending order, are Sam Hunt’s Montevallo, Rhett’s Tangled Up, Eric Church’s Mr. Misunderstood and Carrie Underwood’s Storyteller

Parading in directly behind “Die A Happy Man,” we have LoCash’s “I Love This Life,”Brothers Osborne’s “Stay a Little Longer,” Luke Bryan’s “Home Alone Tonight,” featuring Karen Fairchild and Hunt’s “Break Up in a Small Town.”

Watch this space to see if next week’s charts column consists entirely of a large ditto mark.

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