Kenny Chesney Debuts at No. 1 on Top Country Albums, Keith Urban Rules Hot Country Songs

Billboard

Kenny Chesney scores his 14th No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart (dated Nov. 19), as Cosmic Hallelujah bows at the summit. In its first sales week (ending Nov. 3), the album sold 79,000 copies, according to Nielsen Music. It also opens at No. 1 on the all-genre Top Album Sales chart, where it's his eighth leader.

Cosmic Hallelujah is Chesney's first album since The Big Revival, which debuted at No. 1 (with 130,000 sold) on Top Country Albums on Oct. 11, 2014.

With 14 Top Country Albums No. 1s, Chesney ties Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson for fifth place among acts with the most leaders in the list's nearly 53-year history. George Strait leads with 26, followed by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson (16 each) and Tim McGraw (15). 

"Setting the World on Fire," the second single from Cosmic Hallelujah (featuring P!nk), topped both Country Airplay (Nov. 5) and Hot Country Songs (for three weeks beginning Oct. 22). The album's lead single, "Noise," peaked at Nos. 6 and 14 on the tallies, respectively.

The last week has been chock-full of honors for Chesney. At the 50th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards on Nov. 2, broadcast on ABC from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, he was presented with the Pinnacle Award, joining inaugural winner Brooks (2005) and Taylor Swift (2013) as its only recipients. The honor recognizes artists who have achieved global prominence through performances and record sales. The previous night (Nov. 1), Chesney was honored with the all-genre BMI President's Award. (Prior winners include Brooks & Dunn, Willie Nelson and P!nk.)

Keith Urban earns his 16th Hot Country Songs No. 1, and first in three years, as "Blue Ain't Your Color" rises 2-1. Following Urban's performance of the song on the CMA Awards, its download sales swell by 61 percent to 54,000, as it leads the Country Digital Song Sales chart for a third week; Urban's first No. 1 on the sales list scores its best sales week. On Country Airplay, "Blue" bumps 10-8, up 3 percent to 31.4 million in audience. It holds at No. 2 on Country Streaming Songs, increasing by 9 percent to 3.8 million U.S. streams.

Urban rules Hot Country Songs for the first time since "We Were Us," with Miranda Lambert, led for three weeks beginning Nov. 23, 2013. He first reigned with "But for the Grace of God" (Feb. 24, 2001).