The veteran star also tops Country Digital Songs with Taylor Swift duet. Plus, The Lumineers debut at No. 60 on radio chart
With 107,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, Tim McGraw claims his 14th leader on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart with "Two Lanes of Freedom," his first set for the Big Machine record label.
"Lanes" starts at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, marking his 15th top 10 on the list and his biggest opening-week sum since “Southern Voice” debuted with 137,000 in 2009. While the artist was embroiled in a protracted contract dispute with former label Curb, he bowed at No. 1 on Top Country Albums a year ago with "Emotional Traffic" (68,000).
"Lanes" includes "Highway Don’t Care," a duet with Big Machine labelmate Taylor Swift, which debuts at No. 1 on Country Digital Songs with 86,000 downloads sold and snares the Hot Shot Debut at No. 13 on Hot Country Songs. The track is widely expected to be the third radio single from "Lanes." Lead single "Truck Yeah" peaked at No. 11 on Hot Country Songs in October and second single “One of Those Nights” reaches a new peak this week, bounding 7-3.
GET BACK: Fueled by a post-Grammy Awards digital spike (up 33%) after he performed the song Sunday night (Feb. 10), as well as adult and pop radio crossover airplay, Hunter Hayes' "Wanted" jumps 3-1 in its 51st week on Hot Country Songs, crowning the chart for a second time.
"Wanted" first reached No. 1 last September, a month before the chart's methodology changed from a core country radio audience database to a hybridized tabulation incorporating digital and streaming data and an expanded radio audience panel. The track bullets at No. 12 on Adult Pop Songs and No. 24 on Adult Contemporary and Pop Songs. The 21-year-old Louisiana native also claims his second top 10 on the Nielsen BDS-based Country Airplay survey with "Somebody’s Heartbreak," which steps 11-10 in its 18th chart week.
Lady Antebellum, meanwhile, sweeps up triple Greatest Gainer honors for digital, streaming and airplay increases for "Downtown," which rockets 34-6 on Hot Country Songs. The track bows at No. 2 with 73,000 on Country Digital Songs. At No. 7 on the latter list, Kenny Chesney’s "Pirate Flag" starts with 48,000.
HAND ME A SHOVEL: Three weeks after reaching the Hot Country Songs summit with "Better Dig Two," the track becomes the Band Perry’s third No. 1 on Country Airplay, where it lifts 3-1 in its 15th week (37 million in audience, up 3%). That’s the quickest chart-topping ascent so far for the sibling trio, outpacing its 27-week rise with "All Your Life," which spent two weeks at No. 1 a year ago.
The Band Perry first topped Country Airplay when "If I Die Young" reigned in its 29th week on the chart dated Dec. 11, 2010. The new leader logged its first week atop Hot Country Songs on the Feb. 2 chart, was replaced the following week by Gary Allan’s "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)," then reclaimed its previous peak on last week's ranking. Peaking atop the Feb. 9 Country Digital Songs chart, "Dig" has spent all of its 15 chart weeks inside the top 10 and sold 985,000 to date.
BANJO NOTES: Also noteworthy on Country Airplay are the Lumineers, who enter the chart at No. 60 with "Ho Hey," the No. 1 title on Hot Rock Songs for a 13th week and Adult Pop Songs for an eighth frame. The smash garners spins at three monitored country stations, led by CBS Radio-owned KMLE Phoenix, which played it 22 times during the Feb. 4-10 BDS tracking week. KMLE also played Mumford & Sons’ fellow pop/rock hit “I Will Wait” 37 times last week.
Although neither of the songs is being aggressively promoted at country radio, KMLE PD Jeff Garrison says, “[Both groups make] music with real lyrics and real instruments that speak to everyone, not just one format of listeners. The reaction has been tremendously positive, with most listeners telling us that both bands belong on KMLE.”
With spins at 15 monitored stations, “Wait” reaches a new peak at No. 46 in its 10th week on Country Airplay.