American Songwriter Reads the Charts: Strait Shootin’

Videos by American Songwriter


George Strait’s latest album Twang shot to the top of the Billboard 200 chart this week, finally ending Michael Jackson’s death-grip on the charts. Jackson’s greatest hits album Number Ones had been the top selling album in the country for several weeks.

Twang, which sold 155,00 copies, was the country star’s fifth album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Strait now has a whopping 23 No. 1 albums on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, a record no one has topped. The album is bolstered by the hit single “Living For the Night.”

No stranger to high numbers, Neil Diamond returns to the charts with Hot August Night/NYC, which debuts at No. 2. The live album was sold exclusively at Wal-Marts and Sam’s Clubs, which seemed to help its sales rather than hinder them.

Also making waves this week: pop punk band Cobra Starship reached no. 4 with Hot Mess, and hot new country singer Justin Moore found himself at the bottom of the top ten with his self-titled debut, which features the ever-popular “Back That Thing Up.”

The skinny: according to Billboard, overall album sales this week hit 5.91 million units, down 2.3% compared to last week’s total (6.04 million), and down 19.6% compared to the same week last year (7.34 million). Year to date album sales reached 219.7 million, down 14.4% compared to the same total at this point last year (256.7 million).

The top ten albums in the country this week:

1. Twang – George Strait
2. Hot August Night/NYC – Neil Diamond
3. The E.N.D. – The Black Eyed Peas
4. Hot Mess – Cobra Starship
5. Only By The Night – Kings of Leon
6. Now 31 – Various Artists
7. BLACKsummers’night – Maxwell
8. Leave This Town – Daughtry
9. Fearless – Taylor Swift
10. Justin Moore – Justin Moore

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