Eric Church Heading for Country Music's Best Week in Six Months

Eric Church
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Eric Church performs at Lollapalooza 2013 at Grant Park on August 3, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.

Country music is about to tally its biggest sales week for an album in six months, thanks to Eric Church.

The singer's new album, "The Outsiders," could sell upwards of 280,000 to 300,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, February 16 (according to industry forecasters). That would be the biggest week for a country album since Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party" bowed with 528,000 last August, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"The Outsiders" was the only major new album released this past week, and should easily debut at No. 1 on next week's Billboard 200 albums chart. It will mark Church's second No. 1, following his last album, 2011's "Chief." 

The new Billboard 200's top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, February 19.

After Church, the second-highest new entry on next week's Billboard 200 will likely be Glitch Mob's second studio album "Love Death Immortality." It might start somewhere in the top 15 with around 18,000 to 20,000 sold. The electronic trio has charted once before, with their first studio set, "Drink the Sea." It reached No. 15 on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart (but missed the Billboard 200).

On SoundScan's Building chart (below), Church is No. 1, followed by the "Frozen" soundtrack. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking -- reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week as reported by six major merchants. 

The rest of the Building chart's top 10: the "Now 49" album is No. 3, Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" is No. 4 and Beyonce's self-titled album is No. 5. Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions" is No. 6, followed by Lorde's "Pure Heroine," Toni Braxton & Babyface's "Love, Marriage & Divorce," and Katy Perry's "PRISM" at Nos. 7-9, respectively. Glitch Mob rounds out the top 10, at No. 10.

Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart
Rank LW
BB 200
Artist Title
1 NEW Eric Church "The Outsiders"
2 2 Soundtrack "Frozen"
3 1 Various Artists "Now 49"
4 3 Bruno Mars "Unorthodox Jukebox"
5 7 Beyonce "Beyonce"
6 12 Imagine Dragons "Night Visions"
7 8 Lorde "Pure Heoine"
8 4 Toni Braxton & Babyface "Love, Marriage & Divorce"
9 10 Katy Perry "PRISM"
10 NEW Glitch Mob "Love Death Immortality"
The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.
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