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Carrie Underwood Climbs to No. 1 on Hot Country Songs Following CMA Awards

The annual CMA Awards (Nov. 5) shake up the charts, with the show's co-host Underwood scoring her 14th No. 1 with ballad "Something in the Water."

Carrie Underwood‘s performance of “Something in the Water” on the CMA Awards Nov. 5 on ABC lifts the track 5-1 on Billboard’s sales/airplay/streaming-based Hot Country Songs chart. The song is Underwood’s 14th leader and her second this year, following “Somethin’ Bad,” with Miranda Lambert, which dominated the July 12 list.

With her 14th Hot Country Songs No. 1, Underwood ties fellow CMA co-host Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney for the most leading hits, dating to Underwood’s first week at No. 1 (Jan. 21, 2006) when “Jesus, Take the Wheel” spent its first of six weeks on top. Here’s a closer look at the acts with the most chart-toppers in that span:

Carrie Underwood 14
Kenny Chesney 14
Brad Paisley 14
Blake Shelton 10
Jason Aldean 9
Dierks Bentley 8
Zac Brown Band 8
Luke Bryan 8
Rascal Flatts 8
Keith Urban 8
Taylor Swift 7

Underwood’s new religious-conversion-themed tune (which also tops the similarly multi-metric Hot Christian Songs chart for a sixth week) adds Digital and Streaming Gainer honors on Hot Country Songs with 84,000 downloads sold, up 144 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and 1.8 million U.S. streams, up 67 percent, according to Nielsen BDS, in the week ending Nov. 9.

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Underwood debuted the song’s music video via Twitter’s video player during her CMA performance, resulting in its No. 7 re-entry on the Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks list. “Water” also flies 35-8 on Digital Songs and 55-28 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Overall country album sales rose by 11 percent for the week (to 740,000), no doubt thanks to CMA Awards exposure. Last year’s show pumped sales by 12 percent (to 735,000). In terms of digital country song volume, downloads were up by 28 percent (to 2.4 million), compared to their 30 percent spike a year ago (to 2.9 million).

Little Big Town‘s 2014 CMA performance (and award for vocal group of the year) pushes the quartet’s “Day Drinking” to a new peak (7-4) on Hot Country Songs, the act’s highest perch since “Pontoon” floated to No. 1 for two weeks two years ago. The new track surges 16-4 on Country Digital Songs (43,000, up 184 percent), and debuts at No. 9 on Country Streaming Songs (1.1 million, up 155 percent).

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The top three debuts on Hot Country Songs are all aided by CMA performances: The Band Perry‘s “Gentle on My Mind” nabs the Hot Shot Debut at No. 35, Lambert’s “Smokin’ and Drinkin’ ” (featuring Little Big Town) bows at No. 38, and Blake Shelton‘s “Lonely Tonight” (featuring Ashley Monroe) starts at No. 44.

On Top Country Albums, Brantley Gilbert‘s Just as I Am (13-3) draws Greatest Gainer applause (26,000 sold, up 306 percent), although a deep Google Play discount during the tracking week (99 cents) likely helped at least as much as his CMA appearance. Multiple winner and performer Lambert snares the biggest percentage-based gain and the Pacesetter trophy with Platinum, which rockets 21-6 (17,000 sold, up 271 percent). Shelton’s Bringing Back the Sunshine lifts 8-5, selling 21,000 copies (up 135 percent).

Jason Aldean‘s Old Boots, New Dirt is back at No. 1 on Top Country Albums (35,000 sold, down 17 percent) for the first time since its debut four weeks ago, while Southbound, an all-star set of countrified collaborations by the Doobie Brothers (updating many of their hits), starts at No. 7 (16,000). Both Aldean and the Doobie Brothers performed on the CMA show.

CMA Song of the Year winner Kacey Musgraves‘ “Follow Your Arrow” re-enters Country Digital Songs at No. 40 (9,000, up 645 percent), while her 2013 debut Same Trailer, Different Park re-enters Country Catalog Albums at No. 4 (4,000 sold, up 237 percent). The set has sold 476,000 since its release and yielded 2.1 million in digital track sales.

Additional reporting by Keith Caulfield