Little Big Town’s “Better Man” Is Country’s Most-Played Song

Album Sales Rise, Reba's Sing It Now Still Tops Country Chart

Maybe it was the recent Grammy Awards show, maybe it was low hanging clouds of fairy dust, but something boosted country album sales a few thousand units this week over last, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

But let us first note that Little Big Town is back at the top of the country airplay chart with “Better Man,” a single that took a mere 18 weeks to make the journey.

And let the record also show that Reba McEntire holds onto her No. 1 country album post for the second straight week with Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope.

Brett Young has the only debuting album in the Top 50, with his self-titled collection popping in at No. 2.

Now, let’s return to those grand totals mentioned above. The weekly Nielsen Soundscan listing of top country albums shows sales of the Top 75 country titles zooming from 175,101 the week before to 218,351 this week, a gain of 43,250 units.

One of the biggest gainers was Sturgill Simpson, who saw sales of his Grammy-winning A Sailor’s Guide to Earth vault from 2,494 to 11,151 during this period, a chart leap from No. 34 to No. 8.

Six albums re-entered the charts — Eric Church‘s Mr. Misunderstood: On the Rocks: Live and (Mostly) Unplugged EP (back at No. 23), Joey + Rory‘s Hymns (No. 27), Tim McGraw‘s 35 Biggest Hits (No. 33), Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (No. 42), Brothers Osborne‘s Pawn Shop (No. 46) and Hillary Scott & the Scott Family’s Grammy-winning Love Remains (No. 49).

There are four new songs to cheer — Blake Shelton‘s “Every Time I Hear That Song” (bowing at No. 48), Kip Moore‘s “More Girls Like You” (No. 56), Ryan Kinder‘s “Close” (No. 59) and Kane Brown‘s “What Ifs,” featuring Lauren Alaina (No. 60).

The No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 albums, in that order, are Keith Urban‘s Ripcord, Garth Brooks’ The Ultimate Collection and Brantley Gilbert‘s The Devil Don’t Sleep.

Completing the Top 5 songs cluster after “Better Man” are Chris Young‘s “Sober Saturday Night,” featuring Vince Gill, Michael Ray‘s “Think a Little Less,” Brad Paisley‘s “Today” and Jon Pardi‘s “Dirt on My Boots.”

Dustin Lynch‘s “Seein’ Red,” last week’s top song, now resides at No. 6.

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