Singer/songwriter Eric Paslay makes his first appearance on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart with his self-titled debut set, which opens at No. 4 with 11,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Paslay’s arrival is fueled by “Friday Night,” his third single (after two entries fell shy of the Hot Country Songs top 40 in 2011-12), which bullets for a third straight week at its No. 6 peak on Hot Country Songs. The track adds Streaming Gainer honors, having drawn 513,000 U.S. streams (up 42%) last week, according to Nielsen BDS.
Paslay’s entrance marks the second time this month that a new solo male artist has debuted in the Top Country Albums top five. Jon Pardi started at No. 3 with “Write You a Song” three weeks ago.
IT’S ‘UP’: Brantley Gilbert collects his third top five hit on Hot Country Songs with “Bottoms Up,” which lifts 9-5 on the sales/streaming/airplay hybrid chart. It returns to the top (5-1) of Country Digital Songs with 49,000 downloads sold (up 12%). The song debuted atop the Jan. sales survey and has sold 354,000 downloads to date.
Gilbert’s debut entry “Country Must Be Country Wide” ruled the Dec. 3, 2011, chart and follow-up “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” reached No. 3.
‘DOIN’ ‘ IT AGAIN: Two veterans return to the Hot Country Songs top 10. Blake Shelton scores his 18th top 10 with “Doin’ What She Likes,” which rises 12-9. Shelton’s chart history includes 12 No. 1s, a position he last attained with “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” which spent five weeks on top a year ago. He subsequently peaked at No. 2 with “Boys ‘Round Here” (featuring Pistol Annies & Friends) last June and “Mine Would Be You” in November.
Dierks Bentley likewise cracks the Hot Country Songs top 10 with “I Hold On” (13-10). He’d most recently broken into the upper tier in June 2012 with “5-1-5-0,” which peaked at No. 4.
‘WHISKEY’ BARRELS AHEAD: A third track from Cole Swindell’s self-titled rookie album “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey” snares the Hot Shot Debut at No. 27 on Hot Country Songs. It follows “Chillin’ It,” which bullets for a third straight week at its No. 3 peak, and “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” which rises 44-38. On Country Digital Songs, “Whiskey” bows at No. 6 (34,000).
Swindell’s introductory album arrives on Tuesday (Feb. 18).
‘BEER’ RUN: Luke Bryan’s eighth No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart becomes his fifth to lead for more than one week, as “Drink a Beer” bullets for a second week at the summit. He logged his longest run atop the BDS-based chart with previous single, “Crash My Party,” which reigned for three weeks last summer. He also spent two weeks at No. 1 with “Rain Is a Good Thing” (2010), “Drunk on You” (2012) and “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” (2012).
MORE TO ‘SEE’: For a second straight week, Scotty McCreery posts a career-best rank on Country Airplay, as “See You Tonight” rises 14-12. The 2011 “American Idol” winner previously ranked best with his No. 15-peaking first single “I Love You This Big” that year.