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Luke Bryan’s ‘Party’ Still Rocking, Sam Hunt’s Album Holds at No. 1

Luke Bryan tops Hot Country Songs; Eric Church dominates radio chart; Ralph Stanley arrives on Top Country Albums.

The party continues for Luke Bryan: The star banks his fourth leader on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart from his 2013 album Crash My Party, as “I See You” rises 2-1. It’s his ninth No. 1 overall.

The set yielded its first No. 1 with second single “That’s My Kind of Night,” which led for 12 weeks beginning Aug. 31, 2013. “Play It Again” (nine weeks) and “Drink a Beer” (five) followed in 2014. (The album’s title track and lead single reached No. 2, while fifth single “Roller Coaster” climbed to No. 5.)


The album is the first to generate four No. 1s since Zac Brown Band‘s You Get What You Give in 2010-11. The most Hot Country Songs No. 1s from an album? Five, first accomplished by Rodney Crowell‘s Diamonds & Dirt (1988-89) and matched by Brad Paisley‘s 5th Gear (2007-08).

Bryan’s new leader reaches new peaks on three other charts: It’s poised to top Country Airplay, where it advances 3-2 (49 million audience impressions, up 5 percent, according to Nielsen Music); gains by 13 percent to 1.2 million U.S. streams and lifts 6-4 on Streaming Songs; and, with 25,000 downloads sold (essentially even from last week), rises 7-5 on Country Digital Songs.

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“I See You” halts a career-best seven-week run atop Hot Country Songs for Carrie Underwood with “Something in the Water,” which dips to No. 2. The single still controls Billboard‘s Hot Christian Songs chart for a 17th week, extending the record for the list’s longest reign by a woman.

TOUR DE FORCE: Sam Hunt‘s Montevallo leads Top Country Albums for a second straight week (and third cumulative frame) with 16,000 copies sold (down 1 percent). In anticipation of Hunt’s Lipstick Graffiti tour launch (Jan. 29) in West Hollywood, Calif. (his first as a headliner; it sold out its first 15 markets in minutes), second single “Take Your Time” returns to No. 1 for a second week on Country Digital Songs, posting his second-largest weekly digital sum (48,000, up 31 percent). He notched his best digital week when lead Montevallo single “Leave the Night On” sold 50,000 (Sept. 6, 2014).

With top Digital and Streaming Gainer honors, “Time” flies 13-6 on Hot Country Songs. It shoots 10-2 on Country Streaming Songs with 1.1 million U.S. streams (up 37 percent), below Hunt’s “Night,” which rules the chart for a sixth cumulative week (1.4 million, up 5 percent).

GUITAR SLINGERS: Keith Urban nabs the Hot Shot Debut on Hot Country Songs at No. 43 with “Raise ‘Em Up,” featuring Eric Church. The track is the fifth single from Urban’s Fuse, which debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums in September 2013 and has sold 430,000 copies.

With the chart’s biggest weekly audience sum (50 million, up 4 percent) in more than three months, Church, meanwhile, claims his fifth No. 1 on Country Airplay with “Talladega,” which accelerates 2-1. Its reach is the greatest since Florida Georgia Line‘s “Dirt” amassed 50.5 million impressions atop the Oct. 25, 2014 chart. Since Country Airplay adopted an audience-based ranking in January 2005 (switching from a plays-based methodology), Cole Swindell‘s “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” holds the weekly audience record: 50.6 million (Oct. 11, 2014).

Church had last topped Country Airplay with “Give Me Back My Hometown” (May 17, 2014).

HE DON’T NEED YOUR ROCKING CHAIR: At 87 years young, first-generation country and bluegrass star Ralph Stanley becomes the oldest living artist to score a top 20 entry on Top Country Albums, as Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow bows at No. 14 with 3,000 copies sold. Previously that distinction belonged to comic legend George Burns, who reached No. 12 on the March 15, 1980 list with I Wish I Was Eighteen Again. Burns was 84 at the time.

Stanley, a highly venerated and influential vocal and banjo stylist, won the 2002 Grammy Award for best country male vocal performance for a new version of Dock Boggs’ traditional Appalachian folk ballad “O Death,” recorded for the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. That set ruled Top Country Albums for a whopping 35 weeks in 2001-02 and has sold 7.9 million copies.