Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert Couple Up Atop Hot Country Songs
Shelton claims a third week at No. 1, while his wife cozies up to No. 2
Just as they're side-by-side as husband and wife, Blake Shelton logs a third straight week at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart with "Sure Be Cool If You Did," while Miranda Lambert ranks adjacent, vaulting 7-2 with "Mama's Broken Heart."
(It's a case of … chart imitating life.)
Their rankings mark the first instance of the pair placing at Nos. 1 and 2 on the tally concurrently, despite Shelton having scored 13 No. 1s and Lambert, three. Other notable married couples, meanwhile, have never enjoyed such chart closeness. The chart stars, for instance, have never aligned for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood or (since divorced couple) Rodney Crowell and Rosanne Cash to be at Nos. 1 and 2 in the same week. Married couples have sent duets to No. 1, but none of the above partners ranked separately in the top two spots simultaneously until this week.
Shelton's third week at the summit marks his longest reign since "God Gave Me You" held for three weeks in October/November 2011. He's thrice ruled for more than three weeks, most recently with "Honey Bee," which spent four weeks atop the chart in 2011.
Lambert lands her highest peak since "Over You" crowned the May 19, 2012, Hot Country Songs chart. "Heart" jumps with top Streaming Gainer honors, as the song increases by 34% to 588,000 streams, according to Nielsen BDS.
On the BDS-driven Country Airplay chart, "Cool" rises 5-3 in its 10th, while "Heart" steps 14-13 in its 12th frame. With 74,000 downloads sold (down 1%), according to Nielsen SoundScan, "Cool" leads Country Digital Songs for a fifth cumulative week.
'SPRING' AHEAD: Hot Country Songs is dotted with six debuts from Luke Bryan's new album "Spring Break… Here to Party," led by "Buzzkill," which snares Hot Shot Debut honors at No. 20. All but two tracks on the collection were previously released on Bryan's four earlier "Spring Break"-themed EPs (all of which were available only as downloads). Released between 2009 and 2012, those EPs have sold a combined 145,000.
As previously reported, Bryan claims his best SoundScan week with the new, full-length "Spring Break," which becomes his first leader on the Billboard 200 and his second on Top Country Albums (150,000). He spent four cumulative weeks atop the latter list with "Tailgates & Tanlines," which rang up his previous best one-week sum of 145,000 on opening week in August 2011, and established his previous best rank (No. 2) on the Billboard 200.
Unlike the four EPs, Bryan's new set is available both as a download and a physical CD. Of its sales last week, half were from downloads. The Georgia native is currently on tour and working on his fourth studio album. He and Shelton are co-hosting the April 7 Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS.
Concurrently on Top Country Albums, Florida Georgia Line's "Here's to the Good Times" adds Greatest Gainer kudos (26,000, up 21%), bulleting for a third cumulative week at its No. 2 peak.
Also in the Top Country Albums top 10, Ashley Monroe bows at No. 10 with "Like a Rose" (11,000). She's a member of Pistol Annies (along with Lambert and Angaleena Presley), whose "Hell on Wheels" entered the survey at No. 1 the week of Sept. 10, 2011.
RADIO ACTIVITY: Chris Young claims his sixth top 10 on Country Airplay with "I Can Take It From There," which shoots 12-9 in its 21st week. His previous five such hits all reached No. 1, the most recent being "You," which topped the Feb. 11, 2012, tally.
Thompson Square, meanwhile, collects its third Country Airplay top 10 with "If I Didn't Have You," which bumps 11-10 in its 21st week. The husband-and-wife duo (speaking of such pairings) scored back-to-back top 10s with "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not," which became its first No. 1 two years ago, and "I Got You," which peaked at No. 8 in December 2011.
'SUMMER' TIME: Brad Paisley's "Beat This Summer" posts a 40-28 improvement on Country Airplay. It's the second single from his upcoming album "Wheelhouse," an ambitious collection with 21 tracks, including two versions of lead single "Southern Comfort Zone," which peaked at No. 2 on Country Airplay. The set Is due to include collaborations with Mat Kearney, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels, Eric Idle and even rapper LL Cool J.
'HEY,' HE'S BACK: About a month shy of the 10-year anniversary of his first appearance on the chart, Billy Currington debuts on Country Airplay the first time in more than a year, as "Hey Girl" begins at No. 57. His previous 14 entries, dating to his first, "Walk a Little Straighter," which reached No. 8 in 2003, have all reached the chart's top 30, with 10 making the top 10, including six No. 1s.
Currington's new song previews his upcoming fifth studio album.
Additional reporting by Keith Caulfield and Gary Trust