Eric Church, Zac Brown Bringing 'Authentic Country' to Charts -- Will Others Follow?
Eric Church, Zac Brown Bringing 'Authentic Country' to Charts -- Will Others Follow?

It's looking like we're going to get some church up in the No. 1 slot on the Billboard 200 albums chart next week.

Eric Church, that is.

Industry sources project that the country singer's new album, "Chief," could sell as many as 120,000 to 130,000 copies by week's end on Sunday, July 31. It's the 34-year old artist's third studio album and his first since 2009's "Carolina." That effort debuted and peaked at No. 17 on the chart -- with 31,000 sold in its first week according to Nielsen SoundScan.

However, "Carolina" was in it for the long haul, and has sold 492,000 in the U.S. thus far. The set is a great example of sustained sales as in its 122 weeks in release, it has sold at least more than 2,000 copies in every frame (save for six). Clearly, all of those fans he built up over the past few years are turning out to pick up his new Capitol Nashville release this week.

"Chief" is led by the single "Homeboy," which has so far peaked at No. 13 on the Country Songs chart and sold 551,000 downloads.

In other big debut news, look for Kelly Rowland's third album "Here I Am," to claim her highest charting album yet, as it may start in the No. 2 slot. Sources say the set, her first for Universal Republic, could sell perhaps 75,000.

She's currently enjoying chart success with the album's single "Motivation" (featuring Lil Wayne), which spent seven weeks at No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Rowland's last album, "Ms. Kelly," released way back in 2007 on Music World/Columbia, launched at No. 6 with 82,000.

This week's No. 1, Adele's "21," will perhaps slip to No. 3, while the late Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" could see another week in the top 10.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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