Heart Break, the sixth studio album from Lady Antebellum, debuts at No. 1 on Top Country Albums (dated July 1), earning 53,000 equivalent albums, with 47,000 in pure sales, during the week ending June 15, according to Nielsen Music. On the all-genre Billboard 200, the set starts at No. 4, giving the trio its seventh top 10.
Heart Break marks Lady A’s fifth Top Country Albums leader, all of which have bowed at the summit. The LP is the first for the group — Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood — in almost three years, since 747 took off at No. 2 on the Top Country Albums Chart dated Oct. 18, 2014, with 74,000 copies sold.
During their break, all three members worked on side projects. Kelley recorded his solo set, The Driver, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 on Top Country Albums (Feb. 27, 2016; 14,000 sold in its first week); Scott, along with The Scott Family, recorded the country/Christian album Love Remains, which debuted at No. 2 on Top Country Albums and No. 1 on Top Christian Albums (Aug. 20, 2016; 28,000) and won a Grammy Award for best Christian album; and Haywood produced the first EP for country trio Post Monroe.
LEGENDARY LAUNCH: Glen Campbell‘s Adios arrives at No. 7 on Top Country Albums (14,000). The country icon, who has been fighting Alzheimer’s disease since 2011, recorded Adios, set to be his final studio album, in 2012 and 2013. The album was produced by Carl Jackson and features songs written by longtime collaborator Jimmy Webb, as well as Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan, among others. Adios marks Campbell’s 19th Top Country Albums top 10 and first since the No. 6 Ghost on the Canvas in 2011.
AND ‘HOW’: Dan + Shay, the duo of Shay Mooney and Dan Smyers, link their third straight (and total) Country Airplay No. 1 as “How Not To” (Warner Bros./WAR) jumps 4-1, increasing 7 percent to 41.5 million audience impressions. The song follows leaders “From the Ground Up,” which crowned the Country Airplay chart dated Sept. 3, 2016, and “Nothin’ Like You” (Dec. 19, 2015).
“From day one, our fans encouraged us to release ‘How Not To’ as a single,” says Smyers. “We’re glad we listened.”
‘BACK ROAD’ TIES BEST: On the Hot Country Songs chart, which blends airplay, sales and streaming data, Sam Hunt‘s “Body Like a Back Road” (MCA Nashville) rumbles into its 19th week at No. 1, tying Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk On By” (1961-62) for the longest command for a song by a solo male on the nearly 59-year-old Hot Country Songs chart. It equals the second-longest reign overall, trailing only Florida Georgia Line‘s “Cruise” (24 weeks at No. 1 in 2012 and 2013).
“Body” also rules Country Streaming Songs (16.3 million U.S. streams) and Country Digital Song Sales (48,000 sold) for a 19th week each and logs its 12th week in the Country Airplay top five (3-4; 37.1 million in audience) after leading the list for three weeks.
‘GOOD’ START: Shania Twain‘s new single, “Life’s About to Get Good,” debuts on Country Airplay at No. 36, with 4.8 million in audience. The song is the first single from Twain’s fifth studio LP, Now (Sept. 29), her first album of new material since 2002’s Up!, which topped both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums.
The self-written “Good” is Twain’s first entry on the Country Airplay chart since 2011’s No. 36-peaking “Today Is Your Day” (her only prior charted title this decade). It’s her 34th total visit, a sum that includes seven No. 1s among 16 top 10s.
Will country radio embrace Twain’s new song for the long term? Early reaction appears mixed. “It is pretty exciting to get new music from an iconic act like Shania,” Cumulus Media vp country Charlie Cook tells Billboard. “Her fan base is so passionate about her. When she played Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena last year, the place was nuts. I would say, with all in mind, life’s about to get good for Twain.”
Conversely, one major-market PD who prefers to remain anonymous asks, “After all that time off, this is the best that she can do?”