Friday, December 29, 2017

Country in the NEWS: Where New Country meets Old Country ....December 29, 2017 (Luke Bryan)

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Luke Bryan Lands Fourth No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'What Makes You Country'

Luke Bryan

Country superstar Luke Bryan notches his fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with the arrival of What Makes You Country. The set, which was released on Dec. 8 through Capitol Records Nashville, bows atop the list with 108,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Dec. 14, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 99,000 were in traditional album sales.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Dec. 30-dated chart (where What Makes You Country debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard's websites on Tuesday (Dec. 19).
Bryan’s last charting set was the EP Farm Tour: Here’s to the Farmer in 2016, which debuted and peaked at no. 4 with 34,000 units (of which, 32,000 were in traditional album sales). Bryan’s last full-length studio effort, 2015’s Kill the Lights, debuted at No. 1 with 345,000 units, with 320,000 of that sum in album sales. Bryan additionally scored No. 1s with both Crash My Party and Spring Break… Here to Party in 2013.
What Makes You Country is the fourth country set to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 2017, following Kenny Chesney's Live in No Shoes Nation, Shania Twain's Now and Thomas Rhett's Life Changes. That’s the most country leaders in a year since 2014, when five titles visited the top: Eric Church’s The Outsiders, Miranda Lambert’s Platinum, Blake Shelton’s Bringing Back the Sunshine, Jason Aldean’s Old Boots, New Dirt; and Florida Georgia Line’s Anything Goes. (Notably, all of the five No. 1s for country in 2014 came when the chart was still a pure sales-based ranking, before it transitioned in December 2014 to an equivalent album units-ranking.)
Bryan made his Billboard chart debut 10 years ago, back on Feb. 10, 2007, when his single “All My Friends Say” arrived on the Hot Country Songs chart at No. 59. It would eventually peak at No. 5 in September of that year. That same month, his first album, I’ll Stay Me, topped out at No. 2 on the Top Country Albums chart, and No. 24 on the Billboard 200.
What Makes You Country was preceded by the single “Light It Up,” which has so far peaked at No. 4 on Hot Country Songs, and granted the singer his 18th No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart.
Back on the Billboard 200, Taylor Swift’s Reputation rises from No. 3 to No. 2 with 100,000 units (down 11 percent), while Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) climbs 4-3 with 70,000 units (up 2 percent), and Pentatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas ascends 5-4 with 67,000 units (up 1 percent).
A pair of hip-hop albums bow at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, driven largely by streaming activity, as the compilation set Quality Control: Control the Streets, Vol. 1 album debuts at No. 5, while Big Sean and Metro Boomin’s collaborative effort Double or Nothing enters at No. 6.
Control the Streets bows with nearly 52,000 units — with just 4,000 in album sales, 2,000 in TEA, but a whopping 45,000 in SEA (equaling 68.1 million streams of its songs during the tracking week). Double or Nothing begins with 50,000 units — with 10,000 in traditional album sales, 2,000 in TEA, and 38,000 in SEA (57.5 million song streams). The Control the Streets and Double or Nothing albums are the Nos. 1 and 2 most-streamed sets of the week on the chart, by total number of streams generated for their respective songs.
For Big Sean, Double or Nothing is his fifth total, and consecutive, top 10 effort, and second in 2017, following his No. 1 I Decided. Metro Boomin ups his top 10 count to two, following his earlier collaborative set Without Warning, alongside 21 Savage and Offset (which peaked at No. 4).
Following Double or Nothing on the new Billboard 200, Chris Stapleton’s From A Room: Volume 2 falls from No. 2 to No. 7 in its second week, with 47,000 units (down 63 percent). Sam Smith’s The Thrill of It All moves 7-8 (46,000 units; down 2 percent) and Michael Bubl√©’s Christmas dips 8-9 with 42,000 units (though it’s up 2 percent). Post Malone’s Stoney rounds out the top 10, as it climbs 11-10 with 36,000 units (down 5 percent).



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