Rascal Flatts Turns to Dan + Shay & Meghan Trainor for New 'Sound'
MORE TO THE STORY Carrie Underwood's Storyteller returns to the summit of Top Country Albums for the first time since its debut five weeks earlier, rising 2-1 with a 62 percent increase to 45,000 copies sold in the week ending Dec. 3.
Helping Storyteller's surge: It and other titles were discounted to $6.99 for a limited time in the iTunes Store on Nov. 27. "Storyteller was chosen as one of the few feature titles to be highlighted in most of the significant retail Black Friday sales," notes Sony Music Nashville vp sales Caryl Healey. "Coupled with our strategic media and marketing efforts, it enhanced visibility and the results exceeded account forecasts."
Watch James Corden and Carrie Underwood Perform Wham's 'Wake Me Up'
The video debut for Underwood's new single, "Heartbeat," debuted on NBC's Today on Dec. 2 after she performed the song at the American Music Awards on Nov. 22. The second single from the LP, following "Smoke Break," which peaked at No. 2 on Country Airplay and No. 4 on Hot Country Songs, jumps 41-32 on Country Airplay (6.3 million, up 139 percent).
'VOICE' HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR Finalists from NBC's The Voice are once again making an impact on Hot Country Songs and Country Digital Songs. Barrett Baber's version of Conway Twitty's classic "I'd Just Love to Lay You Down" opens atop Country Digital Songs (47,000 downloads), good for a No. 16 opening on Hot Country Songs. Twitty's original topped the March 29, 1980 Hot Country Songs chart, becoming the 29th of his 40 No. 1s.
Emily Ann Roberts, who, at 16, is often referred to as an old soul for her love of classic country, launches at No. 3 on Country Digital Songs (41,000) and No. 21 on Hot Country Songs with her rendition of Patsy Cline's "She's Got You." The original led for five weeks in 1962.
Shelby Brown's update of Vince Gill's "Go Rest High on That Mountain" opens at No. 5 on Country Digital Songs (41,000) and No. 33 on Hot Country Songs. Gill took the track to No. 14 on Hot Country Songs in 1995, with the spiritual ballad going on to win the Country Music Association Award for song of the year in 1996.
Finally, Zach Seabaugh's country interpretation of Queen's 1980 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" debuts at No. 12 on Country Digital Songs (11,000) and No. 47 on Hot Country Songs. While Queen's rock-flavored original never appeared on Hot Country Songs, Seabaugh brings the composition to the tally for a third time: Orion dented the chart with a No. 79-peaking version in 1981, while Dwight Yoakam's take rose to No. 12 in 1999.
This article first appeared in Billboard's Country Update -- sign up here.