Shelton, Florida Georgia Line lead first-half sales
Monday, July 8, 2013
– Blake Shelton and Florida Georgia Line dominated the Billboard Country Albums and Songs chart respectively during the first six months of the year. Shelton had the top selling disc with "Based on a True Story..." selling slightly more than 700,000 units through June 30. FGL had a monster hit with Cruise,
which sold more than 3.1 digital downloads during the same period, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Shelton had a hit single as well with Boys 'Round Here, as did FGL with Get Your Shine On and had the third biggest selling disc with "Here's to the Good Times."
Shelton benefited from being a celebrity coach on NBC's "The Voice." The album's first two singles - Sure Be Cool If You Did and Boys 'Round Here - both hit the top.
On the January through June 2013 country digital songs list, 7 of the top 10 titles sold more than 1 million. For the same period last year, only 4 of the top 10 songs sold more than a million, led by Luke Bryan's Drunk on You, at 1.4 million during that time frame. All songs on this year's list were major hits at country radio, unlike 2012 when Taylor Swift's Eyes Open and Safe & Sound (featuring The Civil Wars) were not radio hits.
The top selling album for the first half of 2012 was Lionel Richie's duets disc, "Tuskegee," which sold 912,000. Second was Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" (602,000). This year, Swift's "Red" is second.
Country album sales were 19.54 million this year - up less than 1 percent compared to a year ago (19.47 million). Country digital song sales are at 92.53 million for 2013 thus far - up 11 percent versus a year ago (83.55 million). That's better than the overall picture where albums sales dropped six percent and song sales two percent.
Top 10 Country Albums
1 Blake Shelton Based on a True Story... 703,000 year to date sales
2 Taylor Swift Red 616,000
3 Florida Georgia Line Here's to the Good Times 610,000
4 Luke Bryan Spring Break...Here to Party 452,000
5 Tim McGraw Two Lanes of Freedom 373,000
6 The Band Perry Pioneer 366,000
7 Lady Antebellum Golden 344,000
8 Hunter Hayes Hunter Hayes 337,000
9. Little Big Town Tornado 319,000
10 Jason Aldean Night Train 305,000
Top Country Digital Songs
1 Florida Georgia Line Cruise 3,112,000 year to date sales
2 Darius Rucker Wagon Wheel 1,768,000
3 Blake Shelton (ft. Pistol Annies & Friends) Boys 'Round Here 1,445,000
4 Tim McGraw (ft. Taylor Swift) Highway Don't Care 1,352,000
5 Blake Shelton Sure Be Cool If You Did 1,344,000
6 Miranda Lambert Mama's Broken Heart 1,187,000
7 Florida Georgia Line Get Your Shine On 1,139,000
8 Lady Antebellum Downtown 981,000
9 Hunter Hayes Wanted 930,677
10 The Band Perry Better Dig Two 927,000
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CD reviews for Blake Shelton
Blake Shelton's 11th studio album finds The Voice advisor in a contented, one might even say homey, frame of mind. The opening track and first single "I'll Name the Dogs" sets the tone. It's a rollicking ode to domesticity that manages to make household chore distribution ("You find the spot and I'll find the money / You be the pretty and I'll be the funny") both romantic and amusing. The beat switches to hip-hop on "Money," but the sentiment »»»
This six-song "Blake Shelton Live EP" seems a little odd. It's not as though Shelton had an especially noteworthy tour to document. Besides, at only six songs long, it's a relatively short document, anyhow. While it may be little more than a post-it note of a project, though, it also packs a powerful punch.
You recognize right away the large amount of enthusiasm the act of singing to an audience brings out of Shelton. When compared to the recorded versions of these hits, »»»
If I'm Honest
Blake Shelton makes it abundantly clear that this is not going to be a light-hearted listen, despite his public demeanor. "I have never recorded a more personal or reflective album in my career," Shelton wrote on the cover insert. He said the 15-song release "touches both the highs and low of past year of my life." And that would first and foremost include his very public split with Miranda Lambert, which happened quickly and suddenly.
Shelton forlornly looks back at a »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Henry comes out the other end a better man
Joe Henry mentioned at the outset that this show was not only the record release celebration, but also the anniversary - to the day - of when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although the songs from this fine new album do not address his illness directly, they many times touch upon the big issues of human existence (life, death and the meaning of it all).... »»»
Concert Review: What's in a name? Strings lives up to it
Billy Strings may not be his real name, but the bluegrass performer more than lives up to his adopted moniker.
Bluegrass may not be the first style of music when one thinks of William Apostol's (yup, that's Billy's real name) home state of Michigan, but with more miles on the bus and shows like this outstanding, lengthy, lyrical night... »»»
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