Women in Music 2019

Kacey Musgraves Clocks No. 1 Debut on Top Country Albums Chart With 'Golden Hour'

Kelly Christine/Courtesy of Mercury Nashville
Kacey Musgraves

The set also starts atop Americana/Folk Albums.

Singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves' third full-length, Golden Hour, debuts at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart (dated April 14), earning 49,000 equivalent album units in its first week ending April 5, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 39,000 are from traditional album sales.

The set, with all 13 tracks co-authored by Musgraves, also debuts at No. 1 on Americana/Folk Albums.

Golden Hour marks Musgraves' third No. 1 on Top Country Albums. Her debut, Same Trailer Different Park, bowed atop the list dated April 6, 2013, with 43,000 sold, followed by Pageant Material, which debuted atop the July 11, 2015-dated tally with 55,000 sold, marking Musgraves' biggest sales week. (She additionally reached No. 11 in December 2016 with A Very Kacey Christmas.)

Despite her impressive album chart success, Musgraves has garnered modest support at country radio. Says MCA Nashville vp of promotion Katie Dean, "We took a slightly different approach to launching Golden Hour at radio. We identified both 'Butterflies' and 'Space Cowboy' as potential lead singles and serviced the two tracks simultaneously, because they're an integral part of the narrative of this record. We've received airplay on both, in addition to [the set's] 'High Horse.' "

On Billboard's Country Airplay chart, "Butterflies" debuts at No. 56 with 574,000 impressions. "I'm going to make 'Butterflies' a single whether it's a [label-sanctioned] single or not," says WCOL Columbus, Ohio, program director Dan Zuko. "I've always been a huge fan of her music and I think 'Butterflies' is a perfect fit for our audience. It's a beautiful song from a beautiful voice."

Says Kevin Christopher, pd of KJKE Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which leads all stations with 177 plays of "Butterflies" to date, "Simply, 'Butterflies' is a great song and Golden Hour is such a cool album. Musgraves has always done well for KJKE, and 'Butterflies' feels like a hit."

"Butterflies" marks Musgraves' seventh Country Airplay appearance. She's earned one top 10 so far, her debut single as a lead artist, "Merry Go 'Round," which peaked at No. 10 in 2013.

On the Hot Country Songs chart, which blends streaming, airplay and sales data, "Butterflies" re-enters at its No. 32 high, followed by the new LP's "High Horse," up 39-36, "Space Cowboy," a re-entry at No. 40, and "Slow Burn," new at No. 42.

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