Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Chris Stapleton Already Has 2015's Fourth-Biggest-Selling Country Album

Becky Fluke
Chris Stapleton

Plus: Little Mix makes British girl group history on Top Album Sales & Christmas album sales surge.

On the most recent Billboard 200 chart (dated Nov. 28), Chris Stapleton’s Traveller held at No. 1 for a second week, continuing to bask in the glow of the CMA Awards. Elsewhere on the chart, Ellie Goulding’s Delirium was the list’s highest new entry (coming in at No. 3), while Tim McGraw’s Damn Country Music bowed at No. 5, The Beatles 1 re-entered at No. 6, and Sara BareillesWhat’s Inside: Songs From Waitress started at No. 10.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Chris Stapleton Soars at El Rey Theatre: Live Review

Meanwhile, this week's charts (dated Nov. 28) mark the close of the 2015 chart year; next week's tallies (dated Dec. 5) begin the 2016 chart year. Look for the reveal of Billboard's 2015 year-end charts Wednesday, Dec. 9, on Billboard.com.

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the Nov. 28 chart:

Chris Stapleton, Traveller - No. 1 — Since Chris Stapleton’s big night on the CMA Awards (Nov. 4), the singer/songwriter’s Traveller album has surged in sales and become the fourth-biggest-selling country album of 2015. The set, which won the CMA Award for album of the year, has now sold 347,000 copies through Nov. 12. Ahead of it on the year-to-date country album sales tally is Zac Brown Band’s Jekyll + Hyde (564,000), Sam Hunt’s Montevallo (625,000) and Luke Bryan’s Kill the Lights (705,000). A week earlier, Traveller was the No. 9 seller (250,000 sold), and then a week before that (the frame ending Oct. 29 — pre-CMAs), it was way down at No. 39 (96,000 sold).

Little Mix, Get Weird - No. 13 — The British pop girl group scores its third top 20 album on the Billboard 200 in as many years, as Get Weird arrives at No. 13 with 28,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Nov. 12 (according to Nielsen Music).

Also impressively, with a No. 8 debut on the Top Album Sales chart (22,000 sold), the act becomes the first British girl group to earn three top 10 albums on the chart.

Get Weird follows the quartet’s two earlier albums, 2014’s Salute (No. 6 on both the Billboard 200 and Top Album Sales) and their 2013 debut album DNA (No. 4 on both lists).

The new album’s first single, “Black Magic,” debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks chart, and became their second hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (reaching No. 67). 

Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour - No. 11 — Following the reissue of Smith’s album on Nov. 6, the set surges back up the Billboard 200 with 141 percent unit gain (rising 43-11; 29,000 units).

The album was reintroduced with bonus tracks in a deluxe version dubbed the Drowning Shadows Edition. The new version’s total units and sales were merged with the original album for sales tracking and charting purposes. In the week ending Nov. 12, the combined sales of both albums jumped to 17,000 (up 264 percent). (Notably, neither version of the album features Smith’s new song “Writing’s On the Wall,” which was recorded for the new James Bond film Spectre. That song is housed on the Spectre soundtrack, which debuts at No. 120 with 5,000 units earned for the week.)

Pentatonix, That’s Christmas to Me - No. 19 — It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as the Billboard 200 chart begins to welcome the annual onslaught of Christmas albums to the tally. Leading the charge is Pentatonix’s 2014 release, That’s Christmas to Me, which vaults 40-19 with 23,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Nov. 12 (up 80 percent). (The set was reissued on Oct. 30 with five bonus tracks, which aids its rise.)

It’s one of 20 Christmas titles on the tally this issue — a number that will likely increase in the march towards the Dec. 25 holiday.

Seal, 7 - No. 45 — Seal returns with his 10th charting album, as 7 bows at No. 45 (11,000 equivalent units earned). He’s visited the top 10 twice: With 2003’s Seal IV (No. 3) and the 2012 covers set Soul 2 (No. 8). 

Michael Buble, Christmas - No. 55 — Michael Buble’s former No. 1 album Christmas earns the list’s largest percentage gain (172-55 with 9,000 units; up 139 percent) for the week. Buble’s set was released in 2011 and is his second-biggest selling album, with 3.75 million sold. (It’s only 83,000 copies away from eclipsing his best-seller, It’s Time — with 3.83 million.)

MercyMe, MercyMe, It’s Christmas! - No. 172 — MercyMe collects its 11th charting set on the Billboard 200 as its new holiday effort, MercyMe, It’s Christmas!, debuts at No. 172. It’s the second seasonal set for the group, following 2005’s The Christmas Sessions (which peaked at No. 64). 


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