Charts on Fire as Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley Score Top Album, Song

All-Star “Forever Country” Heralds CMA Awards Show

Have we got some charts for you!

There’s a new No. 1 album — (Jason Aldean’s They Don’t Know — a new No. 1 song — Dierks Bentley’s “Different for Girls” featuring Elle King
— and scads of fresh music to report, all based on official Billboard numbers.

So here goes.

By sales totals alone, They Don’t Know dwarfed all the other first-time albums. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the package sold a sizzling 130,873 copies its first week out. Whiskey MyersMud, which debuts at No. 4, scanned 7,383 units during the same period.

In addition to topping the country chart, They Don’t Know also tops the all-genres Billboard 200 chart. It’s his third consecutive album to achieve the feat following 2014’s Old Boots, New Dirt and 2012’s Night Train. They Don’t Know is also the first country album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this year.

“Different for Girls” arrives at the country airplay peak after a 17-week trek.

Apart from the two Top 5 releases, there are five other new albums to report.

They are Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt’s Trio: The Complete Trio Collection (No. 7) and My Dear Companion: Selections From the Trio Collection (No. 44).

Also, Chely Wright’s I Am the Rain (No. 13), the Time JumpersKid Sister (No. 25) and Billy Ray CyrusThin Line (No. 49).

Returning to the chart are Casey Donahew’s All Night Party (No. 31) and the self-titled Brett Young EP (No. 47).

The big news in the songs department is the debut at No. 39 of “Forever Country” by an ad hoc assemblage called Artists of Then, Now and Forever.

Produced to help celebrate the upcoming 50th annual CMA Awards show, it is a medley of John Denver’s “Country Roads,” Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” and Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” — performed by Parton, Nelson and 28 other big-name CMA award winners. And there’s a music video that goes with it.

Great stuff!

Two other songs make their initial chart entrance this week — Chris Lane’s “For Her” (No. 58) and Jana Kramer’s “Circles” (No. 60). Joe Nichols “Undone” comes back aboard at No. 57.

The No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5 albums, in that order, are Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots (last week’s No. 1), Chris Stapleton’s Traveller and Keith Urban’s Ripcord.

Rounding out the Top 5 songs are Kelsea Ballerini‘s “Peter Pan” (last week’s No. 1), Billy Currington’s “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To,” Justin Moore‘s “You Look Like I Need a Drink” and Kenny Chesney’s “Setting the World on Fire” featuring P!nk.

When shall we witness such excitement again? And will there be enough exclamation points to see us through?

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