Welcome Home, the fifth full-length album from Zac Brown Band, bows at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums chart (dated June 3), marking the group’s fourth leader on the list. It starts with 146,000 equivalent album units, with 139,000 in pure sales, in its opening week (ending May 18), according to Nielsen Music.
On the all-genre Billboard 200, Welcome Home enters at No. 2, marking the band’s fifth top 10 on the survey.
All four of ZBB’s Top Country Albums No. 1s have launched at the summit. The group’s last studio effort, Jekyll + Hyde, bowed at No. 1 with 228,000 units (214,000 in pure sales) on the chart dated May 16, 2015. Uncaged arrived atop the July 28, 2012-dated list with 234,000 sold, and You Get What You Give opened at No. 1 on Oct. 9, 2010, with 153,000 sold.
The group’s breakthrough album, The Foundation, started at No. 3 on the Top Country Albums chart dated Dec. 6, 2008, with 44,000 sold. It rose to its No. 2 peak on the March 28, 2009-dated survey.
The 10-song Welcome Home, produced by Dave Cobb, marks a sonic return to the band’s more organic, acoustic-based sound established on The Foundation. The new set’s lead single, “My Old Man” (written by Brown, Niko Moon and Ben Simonetti), rises 22-17 on Hot Country Songs, marking its first week in the top 20 since it ranked at its No. 10 high on Feb. 25 following its first week of activity. The song bullets at its No. 18 peak on Country Airplay, up 2 percent to 15.8 million in audience.
On May 12, ZBB kicked off its 2017 Welcome Home Tour in Atlanta, where the band is based.
‘BACK’ AT ONE: Sam Hunt, who performed his latest single, “Body Like a Back Road,” on the live ABC broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards on May 21, extends the track’s domination on the Hot Country Songs chart (which blends airplay, streaming and sales data) to a 15th week.
The song, from Hunt’s upcoming sophomore full-length album (whose release date has not yet been announced), increases 9 percent to 16.7 million U.S. streams and likewise tops Country Streaming Songs for a 15th week. It rules Country Digital Song Sales for a 16th frame, declining 2 percent to 47,000 downloads sold. (It ranks at No. 3 on Country Airplay, down 3 percent to 42.4 million in audience, after three weeks at No. 1.)
“Back Road” is now the sixth-longest-reigning No. 1 in the Hot Country Songs chart’s 58-year history. Florida Georgia Line‘s “Cruise” set the record with 24 weeks on top in 2012 and 2013. Hunt’s hit passes three 14-week No. 1s: Jim Reeves‘ “He’ll Have to Go” (1960), Hank Locklin‘s “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” (1960) and Jason –Aldean‘s “Burnin’ It Down” (2014).
‘HURRICANE’ STILL AT FULL STRENGTH Luke Combs‘ “Hurricane” tops Country Airplay for a second week, decreasing 4 percent to 45.8 million in audience. Still, the song is the first rookie release to reign for multiple weeks since Florida Georgia Line‘s “Cruise” (three weeks, beginning on the chart dated Dec. 15, 2012). The last solo male to lead the list for more than one week with a first entry? Darius Rucker, whose “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” dominated for two weeks starting Oct. 4, 2008.
On Hot Country Songs, “Hurricane” ranks at its No. 3 peak for a fifth consecutive week.
RASCAL FLATTS UPS AIRPLAY TALLY: Rascal Flatts rolls up its 31st Country Airplay top 10, as “Yours If You Want It” increases 8 percent to 24 million audience impressions and pushes 12-10. Out of groups that contain three members or more, the trio pads its lead for the most top 10s since the chart began in 1990; Alabama follows with 24. Among all acts, George Strait leads with 61 Country Airplay top 10s.