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Tornado Benefit Spikes Blake Shelton Sales

The singer's 'Based on a True Story…' returns to No. 1 on Top Country Albums after last week's charity concert. Plus, the reign of Florida Georgia Line's 'Cruise' continues and Tim McGraw ties a…

Blake Shelton’s May 29 “Healing in the Heartland” benefit concert for Oklahoma tornado relief, broadcast live on NBC, reportedly raised more than $6 million. Following the exposure, he finishes the May 27-June 2 Nielsen SoundScan week with a nice bump for his “Based on a True Story…,” which flies 4-1 with Greatest Gainer honors on Top Country Albums (42,000 sold, up 69%). The benefit show was simulcast on Cumulus Media’s 84 terrestrial country stations, which also ran an hour-long fundraising special with “American Country Countdown” host Kix Brooks. (Multiple other radio chains companies also participated in the simulcast.)
Shelton’s album posts a fourth cumulative week atop the chart, and concurrently sports the Greatest Gainer nod with a 16-5 leap on the Billboard 200. That’s the album’s best rank on the big chart since it spent the third of three straight weeks at No. 4 on the May 4 tally. It debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums and at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 (charts dated April 13) with 199,000 and has sold 588,000 to date.
The album’s second single, “Boys ‘Round Here” (which Shelton did not perform on the benefit show), featuring Pistol Annies & Friends, draws Digital Gainer applause and steps 3-2 on Hot Country Songs. It bullets at No. 2 on Country Digital Songs (147,000 downloads, up 36%).
STILL ‘CRUISE’-IN’: Country Digital Songs is led for a 15th cumulative week by Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” with 196,000 sold during the tracking week; the remix with rapper Nelly accounts for 126,000 of the weekly sum.
The duo’s song, at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, holds atop Hot Country Songs for a 14th total week. No title has spent more weeks at No. 1 since Buck Owens’ “Love’s Gonna Live Here” ruled for 16 weeks 50 years ago.

HEATING UP: Brad Paisley’s “Beat This Summer” jumps 12-10 on Hot Country Songs to become his 30th top 10. Dating to his first week in the top tier in November 1999, Paisley moves into a second-place tie with Tim McGraw for the most top 10s; Kenny Chesney leads with 36 in that stretch.
WHEN YOU THINK TIM McGRAW …: Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift achieve their 26th and seventh Country Airplay No. 1s, respectively, as “Highway Don’t Care” steps 2-1 with the biggest weekly audience sum since the BDS-driven chart switched to audience-based rankings in January 2005. The reach passes the 40.7 million registered by Florida Georgia Line’s “Get Your Shine On” three weeks ago.
For McGraw, “Highway” follows “One of Those Nights,” which led for three weeks in March, marking his first set of two No. 1s since he scored four straight in 2003-04. It also ties him for the most No. 1s with Alan Jackson and George Strait since Country Airplay launched the week of Jan. 20, 1990.
“Highway” is Swift’s first Country Airplay No. 1 since “Ours” crowned the chart dated March 31, 2012. She, of course, first charted with “Tim McGraw” seven years ago next month. The ballad went on to peak at No. 6 in early 2007.
YOUNG AND ‘OLD’: As she continues her campaign to win the current season of NBC’s “The Voice,” Danielle Bradbery also keeps on charting remakes of past country hits.
This week, her cover of the Judds’ “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)” enters as the Hot shot Debut on Hot Country Songs at No. 24, fueled by digital sales of 52,000, marking her best sales frame yet. The Judds’ original version of the touching ballad topped the May 10, 1986, Hot Country Songs chart.
Bradbery has now hit the chart with a title in each of the last four weeks, following her interpretations of Pam Tillis’ “Maybe It Was Memphis” (No. 25; the original rose to No. 3 in 1992), Carrie Underwood’s “Wasted” (No. 35; the original spent three weeks at No. 1 in 2007) and, last week, Jo Dee Messina’s “Heads Carolina, Tails California” (No. 23).
Messina’s original version of “Heads” peaked at No. 2 on Hot Country Songs the week of May 18, 1996, and logged its final week on the chart dated June 8, 1996. Bradbery was born the following month.
Additional reporting by Gary Trust