California Sunrise, the second LP from Jon Pardi, dawns at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums chart (dated July 9), selling 24,000 copies in its first week (ending June 23), according to Nielsen Music. On the all-genre, consumption-based Billboard 200, the set starts at No. 11 with 29,000 equivalent album units.
Pardi lands his first Top Country Albums leader after his 2014 debut, Write You a Song, entered at No. 3 (its peak), selling 17,000 in its first week. His second appearance on the chart, 2015’s EP The B-Sides, 2011-2014, featuring material recorded in the sessions for his first LP, debuted and peaked at No. 26 (2,000).
Concurrently, the lead single from California Sunrise, the traditional-sounding “Head Over Boots,” enters the Country Airplay top 10, marking another first for the 31-year-old from Northern California. It lifts 11-9 in its 39th week, gaining by 9 percent to 30 million audience impressions. In Pardi’s four prior Country Airplay chart appearances, he previously peaked as high as No. 11 with “Up All Night” in February 2014.
Pardi, who co-produced the new album and co-wrote seven of its 12 tracks, talked to Billboard from Madison, Wisc., on June 25 just before a concert. “I’m kind of speechless about it,” he said of his No. 1 album debut. “You always go in to record the best album you can, but I never really think about chart numbers in advance. I never like over-thinking things, so this is amazing.”
Pardi, who grew up listening to country artists like Alan Jackson, George Strait and Garth Brooks, is not shy about touting that his music leans traditional. “I was going for a classic-yet-modern sound,” he says. “You’ll even hear some country & Western in there.”
URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Atop Country Airplay, Keith Urban notches his 20th No. 1, as “Wasted Time” travels 3-1 in its 13th week, gaining by 12 percent to 46 million impressions. “Time” is the third single from Urban’s album Ripcord, which arrived as his fifth No. 1 on Top Country Albums (dated May 28). It follows the Country Airplay No. 1 “Break on Me” and the No. 2-peaking “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.”
Urban, who first crowned Country Airplay in 2001 with “But for the Grace of God,” ties for sixth place among acts with the most leaders, dating to the chart’s Jan. 20, 1990, launch. Tim McGraw leads with 28 No. 1s; followed by Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and George Strait, each with 26; Blake Shelton with 22; and Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith and Urban, each with 20. (Urban breaks out of a tie with Brad Paisley, who has scored 19.)
“I grew up on radio and hoped someday I’d get to hear a song of mine on the air, so to be here today with 20 No. 1s is beyond my wildest dreams,” says Urban. “I think my singles over the years have always been very reflective of who I am and what I’m into at that time, musically, thematically and sonically.”
On the Hot Country Songs chart, which combines airplay, streaming and sales data, “Wasted Time” bullets at No. 8. Florida Georgia Line‘s “H.O.L.Y.” rules the list for an eighth frame. It also tops Country Digital Songs (69,000 downloads sold, down 4 percent) and Country Streaming Songs (6.3 million U.S. streams, down 1 percent) for an eighth week each. On Country Airplay, the track hits the top five (8-5), surging by 14 percent to 35.9 million in audience.
Concurrently on Hot Country Songs, Eric Church notches his 12th top 10, as “Record Year” (EMI Nashville) pushes 11-9, supported by its 10-6 jump on Country Airplay (34.4 million, up 13 percent).
STILL FIGHTING: LoCash‘s Fighters marks the duo’s third appearance on Top Country Albums and its highest debut and rank, starting at No. 14 with 4,000 sold. The pair’s 2013 debut, LoCash Cowboys, bowed at No. 25 (also with 4,000, although slightly higher than that of Fighters before rounding off their sales totals) and 2015’s EP I Love This Life began at No. 38 (1,000). Current single “I Know Somebody” steps 32-30 on Country Airplay (7.7 million, up 12 percent). “I Love This Life” peaked at Nos. 2 and 5 on Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs, respectively, the pair’s highest peak on both surveys.
This article first appeared in Billboard’s Country Update — sign up here.