Eric Church's 'Desperate Man' Dominates Top Country Albums, Florida Georgia Line Crown Country Airplay

Erika Goldring/WireImage
Eric Church performs during the 2017 CMA Music Festival on June 9, 2017 in Nashville, Tenn.

Eric Church's sixth studio LP Desperate Man (EMI Nashville/Universal Music Group Nashville) debuts atop Billboard's Top Country Albums chart (dated Oct. 20), earning 116,000 equivalent album units, with 103,000 of that sum in traditional album sales, in the week ending Oct. 11, according to Nielsen Music.

On the all-genre Billboard 200, the album enters at No. 5, marking Church's fifth top 10, with each having started in the upper tier.

The Jay Joyce-produced set, with all 11 tracks written by Church either in part (eight) or solo (three), marks his third Top Country Albums leader, among eight top 10s, and his third to bow in the penthouse.

Desperate Man is Church's first studio LP since Mr. Misunderstood, which launched at No. 3 on the Top Country Albums chart dated Nov. 21, 2015, with 76,000 units, and peaked at No. 2 the following week (having been released on Nov. 4 without advance promotion, just hours before the airing of the 2015 Country Music Awards, so it debuted with less than two full days of availability).

In November 2016, Church released the EP Mr. Misunderstood: On the Rocks, Live and (Mostly) Unplugged, which debuted and peaked at No. 4 on Top Country Albums.

Church's additional Top Country Albums leaders are 2014's The Outsiders, which launched atop the list with 288,000 sold, and 2011's Chief, which began with 145,000 sold. Church logged his first appearance with Sinners Like Me, which started and peaked at No. 7 in August 2006.

Meanwhile, the title-track lead single from Desperate Man flies 18-8 on the airplay, streaming and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart marking Church's 15th top 10. On Country Airplay, it holds at No. 14 (17.5 million audience impressions, down less than 1 percent, in the week ending Oct. 14).

"SIMPLE" MATH Florida Georgia Line earns its 14th Country Airplay No. 1, as the duo's "Simple" (Big Machine Label Group) rises 3-1, up 4 percent to 37.9 million in audience.

The twosome's 14 No. 1s tie Rascal Flatts' total (passing Zac Brown Band's 13) for the second-most among duos and groups in the chart's 28-year history, after Brooks & Dunn's 20. Among all acts, Kenny Chesney leads with 30 No. 1s.

Meanwhile, FGL's "Meant to Be" with Bebe Rexha (Warner Bros./BMLG), which led the Country Airplay chart dated April 28, rules Hot Country Songs for a record-extending 46th week. It tops Country Streaming Songs for a record-stretching 42nd frame, with 12.1 million U.S. streams (up 4 percent).

With "Simple" atop Country Airplay and "Meant" leading Hot Country Songs, it marks just the third set of songs with which an act has ruled the charts simultaneously since Hot Country Songs transitioned to a multi-metric methodology in October 2012. Not surprisingly, FGL has been involved each time. On June 21, 2014, Luke Bryan paced both surveys as "Play It Again" led Country Airplay while FGL's "This Is How We Roll," featuring Bryan, topped Hot Country Songs. Before that, for two weeks in May 2013, FGL's "Cruise" crowned Hot Country Songs while "Get Your Shine On" sparkled atop Country Airplay.

NEW TOP 10s Dan + Shay earn their sixth Hot Country Songs top 10 as "Speechless" (Warner Bros./WAR) rises 11-9. It steps 21-20 on Country Airplay, up 8 percent to 13.7 million, while also boasting 7 million U.S. streams (up 1 percent).

Plus, Jimmie Allen banks his first Country Airplay top 10 as his debut single "Best Shot" bumps 11-10 (24 million, up 15 percent). The Stoney Creek label returns to the top 10 for the first time since Randy Houser's "We Went" went to No. 1 in March 2016; the label lands its lucky 13th top 10 overall, dating to its first, Thompson Square's No. 1 "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not," in April 2011. Along with Allen's first top 10, Houser's five and Thompson Square's four, Parmalee has tallied three top 10s for the label.


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