Bringing Back the Sunshine is only the third country album to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 2014, following Eric Church's The Outsiders (on the chart dated March 1) and Shelton's wife, Miranda Lambert, with her Platinum set (June 21).
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Shelton also brings "sunshine" to the top of the chart for the first time. It's the first occasion the word has been used in the title of a No. 1 album. The previous highest-ranked "sunshine" album was Natasha Bedingfield's No. 3-peaking Pocketful of Sunshine in 2008.
Another country act, Lady Antebellum, arrives in the No. 2 slot on the Billboard 200 with their fifth studio release, 747. It sold 74,000 copies in its first week, which is less than half of what their last album, 2013's Golden, bowed with: 167,000. 747 is the group's sixth top 10 album.
With Shelton and Lady Antebellum at Nos. 1 and 2, this is the first time the top two albums are country efforts in nearly four years. Country music last controlled the top two rungs on the Nov. 20, 2010-dated chart, when Taylor Swift's Speak Now and Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party were Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.
Barbra Streisand's duets album Partners holds at No. 3 with 73,000 (down 43 percent) and last week's No. 1, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga's Cheek to Cheek, falls to No. 4 with 59,000 (down 55 percent).
Next up, Prince arrives with the first of his two debuts in the top 10: Art Official Age, which bows at No. 5 with 51,000. He also enters at No. 8 with Plectrumelectrum (with the band 3rdEyeGirl; 26,000). Prince is the first act to achieve two simultaneous top 10 debuts in a little more than 10 years. The last act to do so was Nelly, on the chart dated Oct. 2, 2004, when his Suit and Sweat albums started at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.
Kenny Chesney's The Big Revival slips 2-6 in its second week with 39,000 (down 70 percent) and Maroon 5's V rises 9-7 with 31,000 (up 19 percent). The latter title benefits from the band's performance on NBC's Saturday Night Live on Oct. 4.
Chris Brown's X falls 6-9 with 24,000 (down 36 percent) and The Script's No Sound Without Silence debuts at No. 10 with 24,000.
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" maintains its grip on the No. 1 slot, selling 202,000 downloads (down 20 percent). Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" is steady at No. 2 with 188,000 (down 16 percent).
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One Direction and Carrie Underwood come crashing in at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, with their newest singles: "Steal My Girl" and "Something In the Water." One Direction sold 186,000 downloads, while Underwood shifted 125,000. The former is from One Direction's forthcoming new studio album, titled Four (due Nov. 17). The latter is the lead track from Underwood's first greatest hits album, Greatest Hits: Decade #1, due out Dec. 9.
"Something In the Water" clocks Underwood's best debut sales week for a digital song, and her highest sales frame since 2009 (when "I Told You So," featuring Randy Travis, sold 126,000 in the week after the pair performed it on Fox TV's American Idol).
Maroon 5's "Animals" roars 21-5 (115,000; up 121 percent) following the song's music video premiere on Sept. 29 and a release of a new remix featuring J. Cole. The band also played the tune during their Saturday Night Live appearance. (The J. Cole remix represents about 14,000 downloads of the song's sales total for the week.)
"Bang Bang," by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj falls 3-6 with 106,000 (down 15 percent), Iggy Azalea's "Black Widow," featuring Rita Ora, dips 5-7 with 89,000 (down 14 percent) and Tove Lo's "Habits (Stay High)" descends 4-8 with 88,000 (down 19 percent).
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Jason Aldean's "Just Gettin' Started" is the third and final debut in the top 10, bowing at No. 9 with 86,000. It's the latest offering from his new album, Old Boots, New Dirt, which will make a high debut on next week's Billboard 200 chart.
Closing out the top 10 is Jason Derulo's "Trumpets," horning its way into the region with a 12-10 climb (78,000; up 11 percent). It's Derulo's sixth top 10 on the Digital Songs chart, and the third from his Talk Dirty album (following the title track and "Wiggle").
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Oct. 5) totaled 4.35 million units, down 1 percent compared with the sum last week (4.41 million) and down 9 percent compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (4.80 million). Year to date album sales stand at 180.01 million, down 14 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (209.98 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 18.17 million downloads, down 1 percent compared with last week (18.02 million) and down 8 percent stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (19.81 million). Year to date track sales are at 866.66 million, down 13 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (994.41 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when: Miley Cyrus' Bangerz debuted at No. 1, selling 270,000 copies, Panic! at the Disco's Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die started in the No. 2 slot with 84,000.