The rookie roars onto the list at No. 2 and tops Country Airplay with "Don't Ya." Plus, Luke Bryan, Tyler Farr and Jennifer Nettles make news
Brett Eldredge posts the best start by a new male artist on Top Country Albums in nearly a year, as "Bring You Back" starts at No. 2 with 21,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. He also claims his first leader on the Nielsen BDS-driven Country Airplay tally with the album's second single, "Don't Ya."
On Top Country Albums, Eldredge's set marks the best opening week rank and sum for a rookie male since Dustin Lynch's self-titled album opened at No. 1 (23,000 sold) on the chart dated Sept. 8, 2012. The only other new male act to open in the top five this year is second-season "X Factor" winner Tate Stevens, who arrived at No. 4 with his self-titled album in May (17,000 sold). The best first-week showing by a newcomer this year is Kacey Musgraves' No. 1 bow five months ago with "Same Trailer Different Park," which began with 44,000.
On Country Digital Songs, "Don't Ya" reaches a new peak with an 11-6 hop, adding 44,000 downloads during the tracking week for a to-date total of 591,000 sold, according to SoundScan. The digital chart is crowned for a 25th cumulative week by Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise." With 89,000 sold during the tracking week, the crossover hit boasts total sales of 5.4 million. It leads Hot Country Songs for an unprecedented 24th cumulative week.
Meanwhile, with the third-longest climb to No. 1 on Country Airplay dating to the chart's 1990 launch, Eldredge claims his first leader in three tries and becomes the second artist this year to reach the summit for the first time. Reaching the top in its 43rd week, "Don't Ya" follows a No. 23 peak for Eldredge's "Raymond" and a No. 46 peak for "It Ain't Gotta Be Love," both in 2011. The only titles that needed more weeks to reach No. 1 are Chris Young's twice-released "Voices," which required 51 (2011), and David Nail's "Let It Rain" (featuring Sarah Buxton), which peaked in its 49th week (2012).
On Hot Country Songs, "Don't Ya" holds at its No. 5 peak to date.
Eldredge replaces Randy Houser's "Runnin' Outta Moonlight" after two weeks atop Country Airplay. Houser became the first artist to reach No. 1 for the first time this year when "How Country Feels" crowned the Country Airplay chart dated Feb. 2. By this same time last year, five artists had claimed their first No. 1s (with seven such leaders by the end of 2012).
GET THE 'PARTY' STARTED: Luke Bryan's highly anticipated "Crash My Party" bows a week early at No. 68 on Top Country Albums due to street date violations. Billboard's retail analysts and other industry observers expect the album to reign next issue with somewhere around 450,000 sold. Should that prediction hold true, Bryan's start would be the biggest for a male artist since Kenny Chesney's "The Road and the Radio" bowed with 469,000 in November 2005, and the most by any artist since Taylor Swift's "Red" arrived with 1.2 million on the chart dated Nov. 10, 2012.
With all eyes on Bryan's new album, eager buyers lift his previous set "Tailgates & Tanlines" 10-5 this week on Top Country Albums with Greatest Gainer honors (9,000 sold, up 41%, according to SoundScan).
SO FARR, SO GOOD: Tyler Farr becomes the third newcomer to reach the Country Airplay top 10 for the first time this year, as "Redneck Crazy" steps 11-10 in its 25th week. Farr's first top 10 follows his "Hot Mess" and "Hello Goodbye," which peaked at Nos. 49 and 47, respectively, last year.
The other top 10 first-timers this year are the aforementioned Brett Eldredge ("Don't Ya") and Kacey Musgraves, who peaked at No. 10 with "Merry Go Round" in March.
"Redneck" has sold 492,000 downloads, according to SoundScan, and spent four weeks at its No. 9 peak on Country Digital Songs. (It's now No. 10). The song is the title track from his upcoming album, due Sept. 30.
SWEET: Sugarland lead singer Jennifer Nettles makes her first unaccompanied solo appearance on Country Airplay (No. 57) with "That Girl," the lead single from her Rick Rubin-produced solo set. No title or release date has yet been announced for the album.
Nettles and her Sugarland partner, Kristian Bush, are working on separate pursuits while the duo is reportedly on a temporary hiatus. Nettles has previously charted without Bush only once, as Bon Jovi's vocal partner on "Who Says You Can't Go Home," which spent two weeks at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs in 2006.