While the Academy of Country Music Awards were staged on the final day of the most recent Nielsen SoundScan tracking week (April 7), the show's impact can still be felt all over the latest Billboard charts.
The most visible beneficiary of the show is the Band Perry, which makes a larger-than-expected start on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The trio's second album, Pioneer, enters at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with 129,000 copies sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
It also launches at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart -- their first No. 1 on that tally.
Last week, industry forecasters had pegged Pioneer to bow with around 110,000. It would seem that excitement generated by the trio's appearance on the high-rated Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMs) helped drive sales even higher. The group performed its current single "Done" on the CBS show, which earned 15.38 million viewers according to Nielsen -- the most-watched ACMs since 1998.
We'll see the full power of the ACMs on next week's tallies, after a week of sales has been registered post-show.
Pioneer's start is the best sales week yet for the Band Perry, which saw its self-titled debut bow and peak at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 at No. 2 on Country Albums in 2010 with 53,000. The smash set has gone on to sell 1.5 million in the U.S. and was the No. 6 best-selling country album of 2011.
The Band Perry also ignites on the Digital Songs chart, where a number of other ACM-related jumps are registered. "Done" reenters at No. 28 with 67,000 downloads sold (up 178%) while Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" rallies 42-3 (248,000; up 372%). Florida Georgia Line benefits from two ACM wins and a performance of "Cruise" on the show. In addition, a new remix of the tune (with Nelly) was commercially released last week -- it accounts for 75% of "Cruise's" overall sales for the week.
Blake Shelton, who co-hosted the ACM Awards with Luke Bryan, rises 25-16 with "Sure Be Cool If You Did" (87,000; up 37%) while Tim McGraw's "Highway Don't Care" (with Taylor Swift) zooms 32-19 (82,000; up 42%). Both songs were performed on the show. Swift's own "22" jumps 22-20 with 77,000 (up 2%).
Other songs performed that climb this week on the chart: Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart" (26-24; 74,000 - up 16%), Shelton's "Boys 'Round Here" (38-27; 69,000- up 27%), Lady Antebellum's "Downtown" (30-29; 66,000 - up 11%), Jason Aldean's "1994" (63-47; 45,000 - up 24%), Kenny Chesney's "Pirate Flag" (66-52; 42,000 - up 7%), George Strait's "Give It All We Got Tonight" (a reentry at No. 54; 40,000 - up 34%), Eric Church's "Like Jesus Does" (a debut at No. 67; 33,000 - up 34%) and Carrie Underwood's "Two Black Cadillacs" (73-71; 31,000 - up less than 1%).
Two new songs that were performed on the show – and released commercially during the broadcast – make their sales starts this week (though fall below the top 75 threshold of the Digital Songs chart). Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party" moved 26,000 downloads in only a few hours on sale, while Hunter Hayes' "I Want Crazy" shifted 18,000. The former is the lead track from Bryan's upcoming fourth studio album, while Hayes' is from an expanded version of his self-titled album, due out June 18.
Back on the Billboard 200 albums chart, Brantley Gilbert -- who performed on the show -- rises 89-61 with "Halfway to Heaven" (8,000; up 23%). John Mayer also climbs with his "Born and Raised" set, stepping 193-134 with 4,000 (up 14%). Mayer performed on the ACMs with Paisley.