Nashville Acts Storm Retail Post-CMAs

Thanks to an unprecedented series of events, three Country acts dominate the charts this week.

Chris Stapleton’s career-defining moment on Wednesday’s CMA Awards rocketed his Traveller (Mercury Nashville)—which was released in May—to #1 honors, earning 150k on the HITS Album Sales Chart and 176k on the Sales Plus Streaming (SPS) Chart.

The soulful Nashville singer/songwriter not only won Male Vocalist, Best New Artist and Album of the Year, but also provided the night's biggest performance moment: a chill-inducing duet with Justin Timberlake.

For perspective, Stapleton’s set saw a 4,000% surge and sold more in slightly more than one day than it had moved RTD. His consumption number includes some 250k tracks (two songs from Traveller, "Tennessee Whiskey" and the title track, have been in the iTunes Top 5 since the show).

In another show-stopping moment, EMI Nashville’s Eric Church pulled a sneak attack, dropping his previously unscheduled fifth studio album, Mr. Misunderstood; the new set grabs the #2 spot this week with 79k. 19/Arista Nashville’s Carrie Underwood, meanwhile, sought to take advantage of the night’s big look and lowered the price of her Storyteller to $5.99 for a shot at #1. Consequently, Church and Underwood went head-to-head; she takes the #3 album perch with 77k and #2 honors at SPS.

Needless to say, an accelerating late-week spike in sales for Traveller made for an ever-widening separation of Church and Stape.

And to think, two days ago, the leading contender for #1 was NOW/UMe’s Now 56. The latest installment of the compilation franchise ended up at #4 with 61k.

Other leading debuts include Mailboat’s Def Leppard (#5), Verve’s We Love Disney (#6)—a star-studded compilation album—Columbia’s The Neighbourhood (#7), RCA/Legacy’s Elvis Presley (#8)—for a greatest hits set with accompaniment from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra—and Warner Bros.Chris Janson (#10).

Also enjoying CMA-related bumps: Warner Nashville’s Blake Shelton, Capitol Nashville’s Little Big Town—who tied with Stapleton for most wins—MCA Nashville’s Sam Hunt, RCA Nashville’s Miranda Lambert and Blue Chair/Columbia Nashville’s Kenny Chesney—whose Apple Music ad cased a whole lot of hubbub.

But wait. We haven’t even stopped to talk about Adele once yet. Blasphemy! After re-entering the chart last week and powered by the massive buzz surrounding XL/Columbia’s Queen of Pop and her fast-approaching 25, predecessor 21 scored another 12k in album sales and 21k at SPS. Who are these people who don't already have it?

Streeting this week are albums from Cherrytree/Interscope’s Ellie Goulding, Big Machine’s Tim McGraw, RCA Nashville’s Old Dominion and SYCO’s Little Mix, along with a special addition of Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour (Capitol), the physical copies of Ryan Adams1989 (Blue Note) and Bob Dylan’s best-of bootleg—out via Legacy/Columbia.