"They tell me I'm too country to do TV," says Justin Moore, whose third Valory Music album, Off the Beaten Path, bows atop Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and claims No. 2 on the Billboard 200, selling 97,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "I've never been on an awards show and I've never been on national TV. Country radio is what got me this far in my career, and we have an incredibly loyal fan base."
Moore's 2009 self-titled debut arrived at No. 3 on Top Country Albums while sophomore effort Outlaws Like Me bowed at No. 1. He's placed 10 titles on Hot Country Songs including the No. 1s "Small Town USA" and "If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away." Current single "Point at You" remains at No. 10 this week. Watch Justin Perform the Track at Billboard's NYC Studios:
"Core country artists are a tough booking for morning and late-night television shows, and we knew that going in," Big Machine Label Group president/CEO Scott Borchetta says. "But our plan ended up winning in the end. Justin's sales are comparative to Keith Urban's from the week before, and even higher than some other superstar artists who recently released albums, despite all of the TV appearances those artists made."
Among the key sales drivers was a pre-order campaign at iTunes that started four weeks prior to street date and a special show in his home state. "Justin participated in several events, with the biggest being a free show in the parking lot of the University of Arkansas [on Sept. 13]," BMLG senior VP of marketing Kelly Rich says.
Moore also visited New York for "radio remotes, syndicated specials, media appearances [and] performances for MLB's Fan Cave, but no national TV," Rich says.
One of the most enjoyable promotions for Moore brought radio contest winners and industry folks to Gaston's White River Resort in Lakeview, Ark. "We hung out and fished. I even cooked for people because I love to cook," says Moore, who'll begin a headlining arena tour this fall with openers Randy Houser and Josh Thompson. "It was a lot of fun. We tried to do something different that portrayed the album."
Watch Justin Perform 'One Dirt Road' at Billboard's Studios: