Carrie Underwood‘s sixth studio LP, Cry Pretty (Capitol Nashville/Universal Music Group Nashville), flies in atop Billboard‘s Top Country Albums chart (dated Sept. 29) with 266,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Sept. 20, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 251,000 are from traditional album sales.
Concurrently, Pretty bows at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200, making Underwood the first woman to top the chart with four country albums. On Top Country Albums, her six studio projects and a hits package make her the first artist in the survey’s 52-year history to post seven consecutive career-opening No. 1s.
“This album is so special to me for so many reasons, and I couldn’t be more proud that people have embraced it the way they have,” Underwood tells Billboard. “I feel so blessed to be able to do what I do, and I am incredibly grateful for the support of fans around the world that make it all possible.”
Additionally, all of Underwood’s albums have opened atop the country tally, starting with 2005’s Some Hearts. Carnival Ride followed in 2007, and she continued with Play On (2009), Blown Away (2012), Greatest Hits: Decade #1 (2014) and Storyteller (2015).She passes Miranda Lambert, who has posted six successive career-starting Top Country Albums No. 1s (with all also debuting at the summit).
The 251,000-unit sales week for Cry Pretty is the biggest for a country act since Luke Bryan‘s Kill the Lights debuted with 320,000 copies sold (Aug. 29, 2015). The last female artist with a bigger sales week for a country album was Taylor Swift, whose Red sold 276,000 copies in its ninth week on the chart (Jan. 5, 2013).
Underwood ties Dolly Parton for the third-most Top Country Albums No. 1s among women. Reba McEntire leads with 13, followed by Loretta Lynn (10). Underwood produced Pretty with David Garcia, who also co-wrote six of the tracks, and she co-penned 12 of the 13 songs on the set.
The title-track first single from the album peaked at No. 5 on the airplay, streaming and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart and No. 9 on Country Airplay, becoming Underwood’s 27th top 10 on the lists, encompassing all her proper singles promoted to the format.
Pretty sophomore single “Love Wins” jumps 36-26 on Hot Country Songs.
CHECKING INTO NO. 1: Old Dominion scores its fifth No. 1 on Country Airplay and its fourth in a row as “Hotel Key” (RCA Nashville) ascends 3-1 in its 27th week, increasing by 7 percent to 43 million audience impressions in the week ending Sept. 23. On Hot Country Songs, it bumps 7-5, becoming the band’s sixth top five hit.
“Key,” written by Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey and Trevor Rosen (with Josh Osborne), is the third single from the act’s sophomore LP, Happy Endings, which debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums in September 2017. It follows “Written in the Sand,” which led the Country Airplay chart dated Feb. 17, and “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart” (Sept. 9, 2017).
Old Dominion’s other Country Airplay No. 1s are “Song for Another Time” (Dec. 24, 2016) and “Break Up With Him” (which led for two weeks beginning Nov. 14, 2015). Its other top 10, “Snapback,” hit No. 2 (June 4, 2016).
NEW TOP 10s: Russell Dickerson‘s “Blue Tacoma” (Triple Tigers) ascends to the Hot Country Songs top 10 (11-8). It gains by 11 percent to 39.1 million impressions and pushes 4-2 on Country Airplay.
“Tacoma” is Dickerson’s second Hot Country Songs top 10 in as many appearances, following debut single “Yours,” which peaked at No. 3 on Jan. 27. “Yours” ruled Country Airplay for two frames starting the same week.
Kane Brown‘s “Lose It” (Zone 4/RCA Nashville) becomes his third Hot Country Songs top 10 (12-10) as it rises 15-13 on Country Airplay (19.6 million, up 7 percent). His other Hot Country Songs top 10s: the No. 2-peaking “Heaven” (March 31) and “What Ifs” (featuring Lauren Alaina), which crowned the chart for five weeks starting Oct. 21, 2017.