July 13, 2008
This edition looks at how the genre’s superstars are doing with their current records.
Carrie Underwood, Carnival Ride
Release: October 23, 2007
Sales to Date: 2,218,000
It’s not easy following up a successful debut album, especially when it’s the top-selling country album of the decade. But Underwood’s new set has been a strong seller, moving more than two million copies in less than nine months. If “Just a Dream” has the impact that I suspect it will, this will be a triple platinum album by year-end.
Rascal Flatts, Still Feels Good
Release: September 25, 2007
Sales to Date: 1,994,300
They remain a wildly popular act, but despite having several radio hits from their current set, album sales have slowed to around 7k per week. The problem may be the lack of an undeniable smash single this time around, like “What Hurts the Most” or “Bless the Broken Road.” Selling nearly two million copies in under a year is still impressive, but this looks like it will be their lowest-selling album since their debut.
Tim McGraw, Let it Go
Release: March 27, 2007
Sales to Date: 1,419,200
His album has sold more than most artists’ current sets, but by Tim McGraw standards, it hasn’t done that well. It’s actually his lowest-selling album since his debut disc, which wasn’t a hit. Every other album he’s released has sold at least two million copies. Also, radio hasn’t been as reliable as it was in the past, with “Kristofferson” being his lowest-charting single since “Two-Steppin’ Mind”, which was released before his breakthrough single “Indian Outlaw.”
Kenny Chesney, Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates
Release: September 11, 2007
Sales to Date: 1,341,400
The reigning CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year has enjoyed 21 straight top ten hits, and radio has been especially fond of his current set, which already boasts three #1 singles. Still, sales are a bit slower for this album than they have been for his previous collections. If this finishes as a double-platinum album, which seems likely, it will be his lowest-selling set since 1999′s Everywhere We Go.
Brad Paisley, 5th Gear
Release: June 19, 2007
Sales to Date: 1,008,700
He’s had seven consecutive #1 singles, and four of them are on this album. So it may be surprising to see that his current album is selling at a slower rate than his previous two sets, which were two-million sellers. As was the case with Rascal Flatts, the dip may have to do with the lack of a huge hit. Paisley’s last two albums had “Whiskey Lullaby” and “When I Get Where I’m Going”, respectively, each of which led to a big increase in sales. But unlike Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw, Paisley’s current sales are not a big drop-off from previous sets, as he’s consistently sold in the 1-2 million range since he first hit the scene.