Kellie Pickler
 Robert Ascroft

The former 'American Idol' finalist returns to the region, while Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line and the Band Perry add country chart headlines

Kellie Pickler opens at No. 4 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart with her fourth studio album, "The Woman I Am," which arrives with 16,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The fifth-season finalist on Fox's "American Idol" opened with higher ranks and heftier sales with her first three albums, starting with "Small Town Girl," which debuted at No. 1 with 79,000 seven years ago; it's sold 900,000 to date. In 2008, Pickler's self-titled sophomore set bowed at the summit with 43,000 (and has sold 470,000). She debuted at No. 2 almost two years ago with "100 Proof," which started with 27,000 (to date sales: 90,000). Pickler and her dance partner Derek Hough won the 16th-season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" in May.

The second single from Pickler's new album, "Little Bit Gypsy," debuts at No.  49 on the Hot Country Songs chart, while ranking at No. 51 in its 10th week on the Nielsen BDS-driven Country Airplay chart. The album's lead single, "Someone Somewhere Tonight," peaked at No. 49 on Country Airplay in August.

TWO FOR 'US': Elsewhere on Hot Country Songs, Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert log a second week at No. 1 with "We Were Us," which encores with Streaming Gainer honors (596,000 domestic streams, up 64%, according to BDS). The spike helps push the duet onto Country Streaming Songs, where it debuts at No. 14.

Up 22-18 on Hot Country Songs, newcomer Cole Swindell draws Digital Gainer applause with "Chillin' It," which jumps 25-12 on Country Digital Songs (25,000 downloads sold, up 21%).

Luke Bryan snares the Hot Country Songs Airplay Gainer nod with "Drink a Beer," despite a 20-22 retreat. "Beer" boasts the biggest audience surge on Country Airplay (13 million audience impressions, up 153%).

FGL Talks With Billboard

'STAY' MOVES: Florida Georgia Line secures its second leader on Country Digital Songs with "Stay," which sells 51,000 downloads and flies 6-1. The duo spent 25 cumulative weeks atop the tally with "Cruise" (through the chart dated Aug. 24).

"Stay" reaches a new peak on Hot Country Songs, where it improves 7-4 in its ninth chart week.

MORE 'MINE': Blake Shelton's "Mine Would Be You" logs a third straight week atop Country Airplay, marking the fifth single this year to hold for that long at the summit, a notably high sum compared to recent years.

By comparison, only two songs logged three weeks at No. 1 in all of 2012. No song has led for more than three weeks since Zac Brown Band's "Keep Me in Mind" spent the final two weeks of 2011 and the first two weeks of 2012 at the summit. The longest chart-topping runs in 2012 belonged to Jason Aldean's "Take a Little Ride" and Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise."  The first four songs to dominate for three weeks each this year were Zac Brown Band's "Goodbye in Her Eyes"; Tim McGraw's "One of Those Nights"; Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party"; and, Thomas Rhett's "It Goes Like This."

What could be behind this year's bevy of three-week No. 1s? Although some mainstream country radio fare has taken its share of criticism over lightweight lyrics and rock production during, all five of these three-week leaders are the sort of mid-tempo songs on which the format has long relied to strike tempo balance, which could account, at least in part, for the protracted reigns.

'LONELY' AT THE TOP (10): The Band Perry claims its seventh Country Airplay top 10, all tallied consecutively, with "Don't Let Me Be Lonely," which jumps 11-9.

Counting only tracks promoted to radio and excluding holiday fare, the trio sports the longest current streak of top 10s among duos/groups on the chart. With three top 10s in-a-row, Florida Georgia Line holds the category's second-longest active streak. (FGL is close to upping its count to four straight, as "Stay" advances 14-12.)

The Band Perry's top 10 portfolio on Country Airplay opened with "If I Die Young," which topped the Dec. 11 2010, chart. The act followed with "You Lie" (No. 2, 2011), "All Your Life" (two weeks at No. 1, 2012), "Postcard from Paris" (No. 6, 2012), "Better Dig Two" (two weeks at No. 1 in February) and "DONE." (No. 1, Aug. 3).

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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