The set -- his debut effort -- is basking in the glow of Stapleton's three CMA wins on Nov. 4, in addition to his show-stopping medley with Justin Timberlake. Remarkably, if it does hit No. 1, it would do so by re-entering atop the list after being absent from the tally since September.
Industry forecasters suggest Traveller could earn upward of 100,000 equivalent album units in the tracking week ending Nov. 5 -- with most of those units generated after the start of the CMA Awards broadcast on Nov. 4. More than 75,000 of that sum could be driven by pure album sales. (Also helping Traveller: It's priced for only $6.99 in the iTunes Store.)
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The top 10 of the new Nov. 21-dated Billboard 200 chart (where Stapleton could be No. 1) is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Sunday, Nov. 8.
Traveller debuted and (so far) peaked at No. 14 on the May 23, 2015-dated chart, and has been absent from the list following the Sept. 26 tally. The album has sold 96,000 copies in the U.S. through Oct. 29, according to Nielsen Music. Traveller won the CMA Award for album of the year, while Stapleton took home both the best new artist and male vocalist of the year trophies (all three of the categories he was nominated for this year).
In other CMA-related action, Eric Church's surprise new album Mr. Misunderstood could debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The set was commercially released exclusively through the iTunes Store on Nov. 4 without advance promotion. Church opened the CMA Awards, collaborating with Hank Williams Jr. on the latter's new song "Are You Ready for the Country." Church later returned to the show to perform the new album's title track.
CMA Awards co-host Carrie Underwood could make the top three of the Billboard 200 a totally country affair, as her Storyteller could nab the No. 3 slot on the new chart. It debuted at No. 2 this past week, and could move around 70,000 in total units in the week ending Nov. 5.