For the first time in 24 years, an artist simultaneously holds three positions in the top five of Billboard's Top Country Albums chart … and it's the same artist as last time: Garth Brooks.
Christmas Together (Gwendolyn/Pearl), the new holiday set from Brooks and his wife, Trisha Yearwood, remains at No. 2 with 30,000 copies sold (down 24 percent) in the week ending Dec. 1, according to Nielsen Music. The LP debuted at No. 1 on the chart dated Dec. 3 (with 21,000).
Arriving at No. 4 on Top Country Albums is Brooks' Gunslinger. The singer's 10th studio album shifts 19,000 copies in its first week of wide release as a stand-alone album. Meanwhile, the Walmart-exclusive bundle Christmas Together/Gunslinger is bursting by 244 percent to 23,000 sold and vaults 14-3. The chain sale-priced the package at $13.88.
The Nos. 2-3-4 combo for Brooks marks the first time that an artist has charted at least three titles in the Top Country Albums top five simultaneously since Brooks himself tripled up on the Dec. 12, 1992, chart, with The Chase (No. 1), Beyond the Season (No. 3) and No Fences (No. 4).
In the nearly 53-year history of the chart, three artists have held a record four positions in the top five in one week: Brooks, Charlie Rich and Glen Campbell.
On Oct. 10, 1992, Brooks ruled the region with The Chase (No. 1), Beyond the Season (No. 3), No Fences (No. 4) and Ropin' the Wind (No. 5).
Before that, you have to dial back to the chart dated July 27, 1974, when Rich ranked at Nos. 2-5 with (in order) There Won't Be Anymore, Behind Closed Doors, Very Special Love Songs and The Best of Charlie Rich. He is the only artist to place four titles at once in the top five in more than one week, having posted four such frames (all in 1974).
Campbell is the only other artist to dominate four of the Top Country Albums chart's top five slots at the same time, on the list dated Oct. 19, 1968, with Gentle on My Mind (No. 1), Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell (No. 2), By the Time I Get to Phoenix (No. 4) and A New Place in the Sun (No. 5.)
'WINGS' STILL FLYING HIGH: Miranda Lambert's double-disc The Weight of These Wings leads Top Country Albums for a second week. It drops by 75 percent to 31,000 sold.
'A GUY' WALKS INTO THE TOP 10... As Florida Georgia Line leads Billboard's Country Airplay chart for a second week with "May We All" (featuring Tim McGraw ), which increases 3 percent to 47.3 million audience impressions, Blake Shelton banks his 27th top 10. The latest single from If I'm Honest, "A Guy With a Girl," bumps 11-10, gaining 5 percent to 27.6 million. On Hot Country Songs, the track lifts 15-13.
RISING 'STAR': Thomas Rhett's "Star of the Show" enters the Hot Country Songs top 10 (12-10), marking his seventh title to hit the top tier. It's helped by a 4 percent advance on Country Airplay, to 24.1 million in audience (13-12).
'ME AND JESUS' AND SUNDANCE HEAD: For his top 10 performance on NBC's The Voice (Nov. 28), Sundance Head performed Tom T. Hall's "Me and Jesus" while competing for Team Blake. Following the show, the recording sold 28,000 downloads in the tracking week. It bows atop Country Digital Song Sales and enters Hot Country Songs at No. 21. Hall's original version climbed to No. 8 on the latter chart in 1972.
Head is the son of country singer Roy Head, 75. The elder Head charted 24 titles on Hot Country Songs from 1974-85. "Come to Me" rose highest, to No. 16, in 1978.