Chart Beat Wednesday: Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Godsmack
'BACK' COUNTRY: Kenny Chesney blasts onto Country Songs at No. 23, as "Ain't Back Yet" enters at No. 23. The uptempo track plays over the closing credits of the film "Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3-D," due April 21, and will be included on upcoming pressings of his "Greatest Hits II" collection. Chesney's next studio set is expected this fall.
The song's lofty launch marks the chart's highest debut since Chesney's own "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven" opened at No. 22 on the list dated Aug. 16, 2008.
Since Country Songs adopted Nielsen BDS data in January 1990, just 11 songs have debuted as high as No. 23. Three belong to Chesney and four to Garth Brooks:
Debut Pos., Title, Artist, Year
No. 19, "The Thunder Rolls," Garth Brooks, 1991
No. 22, "Wrapped Up in You," Garth Brooks, 2001
No. 21, "All Jacked Up," Gretchen Wilson, 2005
No. 18, "Good Ride Cowboy," Garth Brooks, 2005
No. 17, "Once in a Lifetime," Keith Urban, 2006
No. 20, "So Small," Carrie Underwood, 2007
No. 16, "Don't Blink," Kenny Chesney, 2007
No. 1, "More Than a Memory," Garth Brooks, 2007
No. 19, "I Saw God Today," George Strait, 2008
No. 22, "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven," Kenny Chesney, 2008
No. 23, "Ain't Back Yet," Kenny Chesney, 2010
The chart future for Chesney's new song appears bright: the last five songs prior to "Ain't Back Yet" to debut as high as No. 23 (including Brooks' "More Than a Memory," which began at No. 1) all reached the summit.
SPEED FOR 'NEED': "Need You Now" lifts 11-9 on Adult Contemporary with Greatest Gainer honors for a third consecutive week, granting Lady Antebellum its first top 10 on the tally.
The ballad ties for quickest ascent to the top 10 by a group since 2000 (excluding holiday titles). Backstreet Boys' "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely," 'N Sync's "This I Promise You" (both in 2000) and Santana's "The Game of Love," featuring Michelle Branch, (2000) likewise logged five-week sprints to the top bracket.
The climb of the former Country Songs No. 1 makes Lady Antebellum just the sixth country group to score a top 10 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the last 25 years. The trio joins Restless Heart (1987, 1992, 1993), Lonestar (2000, 2001), Diamond Rio (2001), Dixie Chicks (2002) and Rascal Flatts (2006).
TALKIN' 'SMACK: Godsmack continues to build anticipation for its fifth studio album, "The Oracle," due May 4, as "Cryin' Like a Bitch" roars onto the Rock Songs radio airplay chart at No. 22. The song begins with 4.3 million first-week audience impressions on 92 stations.
The cut is the second preview track from the album to assault the survey. "Whiskey Hangover" reached No. 7 in August.
"Cryin' Like a Bitch" concurrently storms Mainstream Rock (viewable at billboard.biz) at No. 15 and Alternative Songs at No. 39.
COMPLETE BEAT: As previously reported, the biggest splashes made on this week's Billboard charts belong to Sade, newly entrenched atop the Billboard 200, and Artists for Haiti, who return "We Are the World" to the Billboard Hot 100 (and, more importantly, raise further funds for Haiti relief efforts). For more on these achievements, as well as analysis on Billboard's entire menu of airplay and sales charts, check tomorrow's posting of Chart Beat.