Monday, June 17, 2024

Pop Country: Kenny Chesney’s Number 1, Monster Sales of New Album Saves Columbia Records from Chart Drought


For several weeks or longer Columbia Records has had almost nothing on the charts. No Adele or Beyonce, no Springsteen, Streisand, etc. Harry Styles’ debut album was not a hit (335K sales total). For Columbia, only Epic Records was doing well thanks to music left behind by L.A. Reid, who was forced out of the company last spring. Not good.

But this week Kenny Chesney rode to the rescue on his Blue Chair label for Columbia. The country superstar sold 220,000 copies and finished at number 1 yesterday for his new “Live in No Shoes Nation.” And that was 219,000 copies purchased as a CD or paid for as a download.

The album could have been called “No Streaming Nation.” Chesney’s fans did not use Spotify or any other platform to express their devotion. He had about 1,000 streams. Otherwise, it was just pure sales.

For Columbia, that’s a nice return to the charts after a long drought even if it came from the Nashville division. It’s unclear what they have coming up, too. The great label has nothing listed on the hitsdailydouble report for albums coming through January. But I’m sure there are some surprises down the road.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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