Brantley Gilbert’s The Devil Don’t Sleep Debuts as Top Country Album

Thomas Rhett's “Star of the Show” Is Week's Most Played Song

Light the fireworks and pop some corks! Brantley Gilbert’s The Devil Don’t Sleep debuts dramatically (if not grammatically) at No. 1 on Billboard’s country albums chart and at No. 2 on the magazine’s all-genres list.

And, after a 19-week trek, Thomas Rhett’s “Star of the Show” pulls in at the top of the country airplay rankings.

As explained here last week, the country albums chart is now being calculated not only on weekly sales of physical albums, as in the past, but also broadened to include track-equivalent downloads and streaming equivalences. Thus, there will continue to be a difference between the Nielsen Soundscan charts (still based on physical sales) and Billboard’s.

For example, on this week’s Billboard country chart, Lauren Alaina’s Road Less Traveled debuts at No. 3. But on Nielsen, it comes in at No. 2. By Nielsen’s count, The Devil Don’t Sleep sold 66,214 physical copies its first week out, while Road Less Traveled scanned 9.717 units.

If you are confused by these Jesuitical distinctions, count yourself lucky that you’ve not been driven completely mad.

Gilbert’s and Alaina’s are the only new country albums in the Top 50, this week, but Tim McGraw’s 35 Biggest Hits re-enters at No. 29, and Garth Brooks’ The Ultimate Collection rockets from No. 37 to No. 9. (via selling 7,228 CDs last week, The Ultimate Collection stands at No. 3 on Nielsen.)

Only one new song breaks into the Top 60 on the country airplay chart. It’s Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Backroad,” which alights at a lofty No. 21.

The No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5 albums, in that order, are Chris Stapleton’s Traveller (last week’s No. 1), Keith Urban’s Ripcord and Thomas Rhett’s Tangled Up.

(By the way, why does “travel” take a double “l” in Stapleton’s Traveller but not in Alaina’s Road Less Traveled? Don’t we have enough complexities in our lives?)

Rounding out the Top 5 songs, are Blake Shelton’s “A Guy With a Girl” (last week’s No. 1), Dustin Lynch’s “Seein’ Red,” Little Big Town’s “Better Man” and Chris Young’s “Sober Saturday Night,” featuring Vince Gill.

Don’t forget to watch the Grammy awards Sunday night (Feb. 12) on CBS-TV. We understand that competition for best throat-singing album has turned particularly vicious.

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