Eric Church Logs Best Debut On Hot Country Songs

Billboard

Eric Church posts his highest start as a lead artist on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart with "Give Me Back My Hometown," which opens at No. 39. The bow surpasses his No. 43 entrance with "Springsteen" two years ago. The new song, released digitally on Jan. 7, is the second single from Church's new album "The Outsiders," due Feb. 11. The album's title track ranks at No. 27 on the sales/airplay/streaming hybrid Hot Country Songs list following a No. 6 peak the week of Nov. 9.

Church's history on Hot Country Songs includes a pair of leaders, both in 2012: "Drink in My Hand" (one week at No. 1) and "Springsteen" (two). He posted his highest overall debut as a featured artist (with Luke Bryan) on Jason Aldean's "The Only Way I Know," which opened at No. 28 in November 2012 on its way to a No. 5 peak 13 weeks later.

'PARTY' ON: Speaking of Luke Bryan, his "Crash My Party" returns to No. 1 on Top Country Albums for an eighth cumulative week, marking the album's first reign since the chart dated Nov. 9. Bryan's set sells 43,000 (down 19%) for the Nielsen SoundScan week that ended on Jan. 5. (Overall album sales were down by 43% for the post-Christmas tracking period.)

On Country Digital Songs, Bryan's "Drink a Beer" hops 2-1 despite a 38% decline (65,000 downloads sold); as previously reported, total song sales for the week ending Jan. 5 were down by 29%, similar to the week's album sales slide. "Beer" topped the tally for two weeks last month. It returns to its No. 2 peak on Hot Country Songs (3-2), where it adds Streaming Gainer honors (636,000 U.S. streams, up 21%, according to Nielsen BDS).

BRO COUNTRY: The chart-topping celebrations continue for Florida Georgia Line, as "Stay" logs a sixth week at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs, where it's the duo's second leader, and a third week atop the BDS-based Country Airplay chart.

As reported on Monday, FGL's former chart-topper "Cruise," which last week became the biggest-selling country digital song since SoundScan began tracking download sales in 2003, now stands at 6.4 million sold through the current sales frame. It passed Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now," now the runner-up with 6.3 million downloads sold to date, followed by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" (5.6 million), the Band Perry's "If I Die Young" (4.7 million) and Swift's "You Belong With Me" (4.4 million).

Meanwhile, "Cruise" ranks at No. 2 on this week's Country Digital Songs chart (64,000) and spends a record-extending 28th week atop Country Streaming Songs (819,000, up 7%).

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