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RiRi: Sales + Streaming = #1.
CHART STORY: RIRI'S
SPS EDGE

As the 51st annual ACM Awards near, Joey + Rory’s Hymns (Gaither) edges out Adele (who's now well past 8.5m sales, btw) at the top of this week's HITS Album Sales Chart to hit #1 with 43k and Chris Stapleton’s Traveller (Mercury Nashville) jumps #6-4 with 27k. Stapleton has the most nominations going into the big night—set for 4/3—with six and he’s scheduled to perform, while Joey + Rory are up for Vocal Duo of the Year. Following Joey Feek's passing earlier this month, Hymns benefited from big physical sales, with a big contribution from Cracker Barrel.

The other top-charting debuts this week are Roadrunner’s Killswitch Engage, Provident's Bethel Music, Republic’s 3 Doors Down and Stoney Creek's Randy Houser, who land at #3, #5, #6 and #7, respectively.

The drama comes on the Sales Plus Streaming (SPS) side, where Westbury Road/Roc Nation's Rihanna, now on tour in the U.S., edges out Adele by less than 1k sales + streams. Also continuing to dominate on the SPS side at #3 is Def Jam's Justin Bieber.

Streeting this week are albums from Interscope’s Gwen Stefani and Republic’s Jordan Smith—the season 9 winner of NBC’s The Voice—along with Zone 4/RCA Nashville's Kane Brown, Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots (Black River), Iggy Pop’s Post Pop Depression, out via Loma Vista, and Capitol's Niykee Heaton.

HITS LIST: SIGNS OF A
WHOLE NEW DEAL
The sounds of a brighter day to come? (1/15a)
RAINMAKERS:
STEVE COOPER
Turnaround specialist becomes a music man. (1/15a)
BIG CHANGES AT RCA: EDGE UPS PITTS TO PREZ, FLECK TO COO; RICCITELLI TO EXIT
Recalibrating for changing tastes. (1/15a)
DANGEROUS TIMES: A CONVERSATION WITH MORGAN WALLEN
As his song says, "Livin' the Dream." (1/14a)
ACADEMY AND DUGAN
DUE TO SETTLE?
A messy divorce nears its resolution. (1/15a)
RAINMAKERS
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMYS: WHERE TO FROM HERE?
After the snubs, the show.
HOW TO FIND 11,780 VOTES
It's the way all the biggest mob bosses did it.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
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