Jason Aldean Scores Fifth No. 1 on Top Country Albums; Dierks Bentley & Elle King Crown Country Airplay
Jason Aldean's seventh full-length album, They Don't Know, marks his third straight to bow atop both the all-genre Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums charts. On the Oct. 1-dated lists, the set launches with 138,000 equivalent album units on the former and 131,000 in pure sales on the latter in the week ending Sept. 15, -according to Nielsen Music.
Aldean's previous album, Old Boots, New Dirt, arrived atop the Oct. 25, 2014, charts with 278,000 copies sold, while 2012's Night Train began with 409,000. (The Billboard 200 was based solely on pure sales at the time of both debuts.)
On Top Country Albums, They Don't Know is Aldean's fifth total No. 1. Prior to his streak of three chart-topping starts, 2010's My Kinda Party opened at No. 2 (with 193,000 sold) and rose to No. 1 in its 14th week (Feb. 19, 2011). Relentless arrived at No. 1 on June 16, 2007 (98,000).
Notably, They Don't Know is the first country album to top the Billboard 200 since late 2015, when Chris Stapleton's Traveller re-entered the Nov. 21 chart at No. 1 and followed with a second consecutive week in charge. Aldean's new 15-song set is the first country album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 since Luke Bryan's Kill the Lights (Aug. 29, 2015).
Michael Knox produced They Don't Know, and its lead single, "Lights Come On," topped Country Airplay and hit No. 3 on Hot Country Songs. Follow-up "A Little More Summertime" flies 22-10 on Hot Country Songs, where it's Aldean's 25th top 10. It lifts 15-12 on Country Airplay, up by 14 percent to 25.7 million in audience. On Country Streaming Songs, it bows at No. 21, surging by 133 percent to 1.7 million U.S. streams, following the Sept. 9 premiere of its official video.
Kelsea Ballerini, whose "Peter Pan" leads Hot Country Songs for a second frame, joins Aldean on his new album, as she's featured on the track "First Time Again." The collab debuts at No. 20 on Country Digital Songs (9,000 sold).
CHART KING: Dierks Bentley's "Different for Girls," featuring Elle King, ascends 2-1 on Country Airplay, where it's Bentley's 15th leader (46.8 million, up 13 percent). King, likely best known for her breakout blues-pop hit "Ex's & Oh's," which reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 dated Nov. 28, 2015, reigns in her first appearance on Hot Country Songs.
Says Bentley of releasing his new leader as the follow-up to his prior Country Airplay No. 1, "Somewhere on a Beach," from his album Black, "My whole team lost a lot of sleep over the decision to make 'Different for Girls' our second single. They all know how important this album is to me, and you only get to release so many singles to radio. We really went back and forth and, ultimately, took a risk choosing it. I can't tell you how shocked I've been to hear the response from the crowd grow every night and see the song shoot up the charts.
"Most importantly, I've made a new best friend through this with Elle King. Being able to introduce her to country fans and the Nashville community has been an extra-sweet highlight on the journey of this song."
THE PLACE THEY BELONG: Meanwhile, Dierks Bentley and Jason Aldean are two of the 30 stars that can be heard on "Forever Country," the Country Music Association's new song and video in honor of the 50th Annual CMA Awards, which will take place Nov. 2 in Nashville.
Three country classics from three CMA entertainer of the year winners -- John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads," Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" and Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" -- weave through the medley, which was produced by Shane McAnally.
"Forever Country," released on MCA Nashville and distributed by Universal Music Group Nashville, arrived for country radio airplay on Sept. 16 at 8:30 a.m. ET. The single, billed as by Artists of Then, Now & Forever, debuts on the Country Airplay chart at No. 39, with 3.7 million in audience from its premiere through Sept. 18.
NEW TOP 10s: On Hot Country Songs, Tucker Beathard's first chart entry, "Rock On," climbs 12-9. It's boosted by its 9-6 rise on Country Airplay (34.9 million, up 13 percent).
Also on Country Airplay, Luke Bryan's "Move" rises 11-9 (31.5 million, up 14 percent), becoming his 22nd top 10, and Cole Swindell's "Middle of a Memory" pushes 13-10 (29.3 million, up 12 percent), marking his seventh top 10.