'9' Is 1, As Jason Aldean Earns Seventh Top Country Albums Leader; Sam Hunt Returns to Country Airplay Top 10
Jason Aldean earns his seventh No. 1, and sixth No. 1 debut, on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart (dated Dec. 7), as his ninth full-length studio album -- appropriately titled 9 -- blasts in atop the survey. In its first week, ending Nov. 28, it earned 83,000 equivalent album units, with 68,000 in album sales, according to Nielsen Music.
On the all-genre Billboard 200, 9 starts at No. 2, awarding Aldean his eighth top 10, a sum that includes four No. 1s (all earned consecutively).
9, released on Nov. 22, was produced by Michael Knox, who has been at the helm for all nine of Aldean's LPs. The set includes 16 tracks, and credits for many familiar songwriters, including Rhett Akins, Brantley Gilbert, Morgan Wallen and Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard.
"In this day and age, everybody is not cutting full-length albums anymore. It's trending more towards these EPs, and that's just not the way I want to make music," Aldean recently told Billboard. "Streaming changed the way everybody does anything. I feel like when you are cutting an album, you kind of get into a groove and you can start really just making a great project."
9 follows Aldean's last set, Rearview Town, which opened atop Top Country Albums on April 28, 2018, with 183,000 units (162,000 in album sales).
The set followed his other No. 1 debuts: They Don't Know, which opened atop the list dated Oct. 1, 2016, with 131,000 copies sold; Old Boots, New Dirt (Oct. 25, 2014, 278,000); Night Train (Nov. 3, 2012, 409,000); and Relentless (June 16, 2007, 982,000, marking Aldean's biggest sales week).
Aldean's other Top Country Albums No. 1, My Kinda Party, debuted at No. 2 on Nov. 20, 2010 (with 193,000 sold), and hit No. 1 on Feb. 19, 2011.
Aldean's first Top Country Albums entry, his 2005 self-titled set, debuted and peaked at No. 6 that August (29,000), becoming his first of nine top 10s to date. Aldean's additional top 10, Wide Open, entered the list at its No. 2 peak on the April, 25, 2009-dated chart with 109,000 copies sold.
Aldean also released an EP, Live Sessions (an iTunes exclusive), which started and peaked at No. 43 in December 2009.
Meanwhile, "We Back," the launch single from 9, ranks at No. 12 in its 12th week on the Country Airplay chart, up by 2% to 16.5 audience impressions in the week ending Dec. 1.
On the Hot Country Songs chart, which combines airplay, streaming and sales data, "We Back" climbs 17-14, also aided by a 44% hike to 6 million U.S. streams in the week ending Nov. 28.
HUNT RISESSam Hunt attains his seventh top 10 on Country Airplay as "Kinfolks" bumps 11-10, gaining by 2% to 20.1 million in radio reach. "Kinfolks" is his first top 10 since "Body Like a Back Road" became his fifth No. 1 and led for three weeks in May 2017. "Body" dominated Hot Country Songs for a then-record 34 weeks, a reign now second only to Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line's "Meant to Be," which ruled for 50 frames beginning in December 2017.
Concurrently, "Kinfolks" ranks No. 10 on Hot Country Songs, after reaching No. 9.
In between "Body" and "Kinfolks," Hunt released the track "Downtown's Dead," which peaked at No. 14 on Hot Country Songs and No. 15 on Country Airplay in June 2018.
USHERING IN THE SEASON On Country Streaming Songs, Brenda Lee's 1958 classic "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" bounds 4-1, up 90% to 20.4 million U.S. streams. The carol collects its 11th total week atop the survey and first since January 2018.