Darius Rucker posts his third consecutive leader on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, as "True Believers" debuts at No. 1 with 83,000 sold, his second-best weekly sales sum, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Rucker recorded his biggest week when "Charleston, SC 1966" bowed at No. 1 with 101,000 on the Oct. 30, 2010 tally. He also started atop the chart five years ago with "Learn to Live," which debuted with 60,000.
The lead single and title track from Rucker's new set peaked at No. 24 on Hot Country Songs last fall, followed by "Wagon Wheel," which topped the April 13 chart and bullets at No. 2 with Digital Gainer honors this issue (103,000 sold, up 17%). With a No. 3 rank on Country Digital Songs, the latter track rolls to a second week at No. 1 on the Nielsen BDS-fueled Country Airplay tally.
LOVELY 'CRUISE': High atop Hot Country Songs, Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" extends its chart-topping run to 13 weeks, while logging a 14th week at No. 1 on Country Digital Songs with 197,000 sold (up 4%). A remix with rapper Nelly accounts for approximately 129,000 (66%) of the weekly total. Over on the Billboard Hot 100, as previously reported, "Cruise" reaches the top five (6-5) in its 34th week, setting a record for the slowest climb to the region in the chart's nearly 55-year history. It eclipses the 30-week ascent to the top five of Lonestar's eventual No. 1, and fellow country-to-pop crossover, "Amazed" in 1999-2000.
NOT 'DONE' YET: Elsewhere on Hot Country Songs, The Band Perry's "DONE." reaches a new peak with an 11-9 hop, re-entering the top 10 after setting its previous No. 10 peak on the April 20 chart. Concurrently, Jake Owen claims his sixth top 10 on Hot Country Songs as "Anywhere with You" rises 13-10.
Hot Shot Debut applause on Hot Country Songs is drawn by "The Voice" (NBC) finalist Danielle Bradbery's "Heads Carolina, Tails California" at No. 23. It opens on Country Digital Songs at No. 8 (48,000). The song was originally Jo Dee Messina's breakthrough hit, peaking at No. 2 on Hot Country Songs 17 years ago.
Also noteworthy on Hot Country Songs is a No. 35 start for fellow "Voice" contender Holly Tucker's "How Great Thou Art," which starts at No. 22 on Country Digital Songs (25,000). Tucker's track is the best-selling religious song this week, also opening atop the Christian Digital Songs and Christian & Gospel Digital Songs tallies.
RADIO ROMANCE: Three titles freshen the Country Airplay top 10, led by the aforementioned "DONE.," which leaps 11-8 to become The Band Perry's sixth top 10. After peaking at No. 20 with lead debut single "Hip to My Heart" three years ago, each of the threesome's subsequent promoted singles have reached the bracket, including three songs that spent time at No. 1. The act most recently topped the chart with "Better Dig Two," which led for two weeks in February/March.
With the fewest chart weeks of any top 10 title, Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party" rises 12-9 in its seventh frame, marking his 10th consecutive (and 11th overall) single to reach the upper tier. The Georgia native has topped the chart six times, most recently as a featured artist (with Eric Church) on Jason Aldean's "The Only Way I Know," which crowned the Feb. 16 chart.
Rising 13-10 in its 32nd chart week, Brantley Gilbert's "More Than Miles" completes the slowest top 10 trek so far this year. No title had taken that long to reach the top 10 since Randy Houser's "How Country Feels," which entered the top 10 in its 32nd week on the chart dated Dec. 12, 2012. The last longer odyssey to the Country Airplay top 10? 34 weeks for Justin Moore's "Til My Last Day" (Nov. 17, 2012). (Moore and Houser each reached No. 1 with those slow climbers in January and February, respectively.) The longest Country Airplay top 10 climb belongs to Lee Brice's "Love Like Crazy," which cracked the region in its 46th week three years ago.
Gilbert's top 10 count now stands at three, with the first two having reached No. 1: "Country Must Be Country Wide" (2011) and "You Don't Know Her Like I Do" (2012).