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Luke Bryan Makes Chart History, Taylor Swift Sparks Kelsea Ballerini Debut

Bryan becomes the first artist to log simultaneous top five album debuts, Miranda Lambert adds a new top 10 and a Swift Tweet helps spur a debut for rising star Ballerini.

Luke Bryan becomes the first artist ever to log simultaneous top-five debuts on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, as Spring Break… Checkin’ Out launches at No. 1 and Spring Break… The Set List: The Complete Spring Break Collection ZinePak arrives at No. 5. The sets start with 89,000 and 6,000 copies sold in the week ending March 15, according to Nielsen Music.

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As part of Bryan’s double-pronged historic feat on Top Country Albums (which originated more than 51 years ago, in the Billboard issue dated Jan. 11, 1964), he scores his fifth No. 1. He previously led with the EP Spring Break 6… Like We Ain’t Ever (March 29, 2014); Crash My Party (for 13 weeks, beginning Aug. 31, 2013); Spring Break… Here to Party (two weeks, March 2013); and Tailgates & Tanlines (four weeks, 2011).

On Hot Country Songs, “Games,” from Bryan’s new set, bounds to a new peak (29-23), up 37 percent in overall activity.

‘WAGON’ WHEELS FORWARD: Miranda Lambert leaps 17-5 on Hot Country Songs with “Little Red Wagon.” Her 12th top 10 boasts top Streaming and Sales Gainer applause following the March 11 premiere of its official video. “Wagon,” which also received notable exposure last month when Lambert performed it at the Grammy Awards (Feb. 8), blasts onto Billboard’s Country Streaming Songs chart at No. 1, up by 340 percent to 2.7 million U.S. streams in the tracking week. Lambert tallies her second No. 1 on Country Streaming Songs: “Somethin’ Bad” (with Carrie Underwood) crowned the July 12, 2014 list.

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On Country Digital Songs, “Wagon” rolls 10-5 (25,000 downloads sold, up 38 percent).

SWIFT SPARKS BALLERINI’S BOW: Back on Top Country Albums, Kelsea Ballerini makes a notable debut at No. 40 with her self-titled, Black River-released EP, thanks to a little celebrity push. The set, released in November, bows with a 91 percent gain to 1,000 sold after Taylor Swift beamed her endorsement on Twitter on March 9: “Driving around with the @KelseaBallerini EP on repeat.. SO lovely:) #yeahboy #lovemelikeyoumeanit.” The tweet has drawn nearly 10,000 retweets and been favorited more than 23,000 times.

Ballerini’s single from the set, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” surges 25-21 on Country Digital Songs (14,000, up 17 percent), while country radio has long supported it: It bullets at No. 25 in its 24th week on Country Airplay (10.1 million in audience, up 4 percent).