Rhett, Stapleton lead charts

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 – Thomas Rhett is staying happy because "Die a Happy Man" again tops the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Chris Stapleton took back the top spot on the Top Country Albums chart with "Traveller" for the week ending Dec. 26, switching spots with Carrie Underwood's "Storyteller," which fell to second.

Luke Bryan was third on the albums chart with "Kill the Lights," up three. Eric Church remained fourth with "Mr. Misunderstood." Blake Shelton held fifth with "Reloaded: 20 #1 Hits."

LeAnn Rimes' "Today is Christmas" stood at nine, up eight. Elvis Presley "Elvis: Ultimate Christmas" moved up 3 spots to 11. Jessie James Decker is back with "This Christmas" as the EP debuted at 16. One spot back was "Nashville: The Music of Nashville, Season 4, Volume 1." Underwood closed out the top 25 with "Greatest Hits: Decade #1," up 3.

Sam Hunt remained second on the songs chart with "Break Up in a Small Town." Cam's hit, "Burning House," inched up a spot to third. Shelton was fourth with "Gonna," one ahead of Chris Young's "I'm Comin' Over."

Bryan vaulted from 14 to 8 with "Home Alone Tonight," a song he recorded with Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild. Jana Kramer broke into the top 10 with "I Got the Boy" at 10.

Randy Houser stood at 19 with "We Went," up 3. Keith Urban's "Break On Me." Was in 22nd, up 4. The Voice contestant Emily Ann Roberts debuted at 25 with "9 to 5."

On the Bluegrass Albums chart, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell remained first with "So Familiar." Found Wandering was second with "On a Christmas Night." Punch Brothers were third with "The Wireless" EP and fourth with "The Phosphorescent Blues." Rhonda Vincent was fifth with "Christmas Time."

On the overall top 200, Stapleton was 9th, Underwood 20th, Bryan 23rd, Hunt 24th and Rhett 27th. The top 200 and country albums chart use different criteria.

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CD reviews for Thomas Rhett

Center Point Road CD review - Center Point Road
Thomas Rhett represents a dilemma for traditional country music fans. Namely, that he doesn't create much country music that appeals to traditional tastes. Although "Center Point Road" doesn't entirely reverse that trend, even during its most overtly pop moments, this new collection of songs is still a pretty good one. The best song is also a love song - to a truck - titled "That Old Truck." It's the kind of song that only makes sense within country music circles. »»»
Life Changes CD review - Life Changes
Thomas Rhett references mangoritas, Coldplay and verified Instagram accounts on his third album, and for some, that may be a deal-breaker. His ultra-contemporary style and pop culture smarts may be anathema for fans of traditional country. However, writing Rhett off by stamping a cowboy boot and hollering "That ain't country!" writes off some truly standout songs - created by combining the best elements of country and pop music. Take the sophisticated songwriting of country and the »»»
Tangled Up CD review - Tangled Up
Thomas Rhett picks up where he left off on his 2013 debut, "It Goes Like This," which netted three chart toppers. Rhett would be hard to categorize as country, although in the big tent philosophy of what passes these days, country serves more as a marketing niche. He's more soul, funk and hip hop than country. His catchy, bouncy "Crash and Burn," another number one song, is squarely soulful pop with a few small sonic tweaks (whistles, backing "uhs" near the end) »»»