Rascal Flatts’s “Unstoppable” lives up to its name this week as it tops both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums chart. Additionally, the first single from the set, “Here Comes Goodbye,” is No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart.
Rascal Flatts becomes the third country act this year to top the Billboard 200. Not only that, but the trio scores the second highest first week sales of any act this year, behind U2’s “No Line on the Horizon.” “Unstoppable” sold 351,000 copies. It is the band’s fourth No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this decade, according to Billboard, and the most of any group in the new millennium.
There’s a reason for Rascal Flatts’ success: they make very palatable, mainstream pop-infused country that centers on strong melodies. And whether you like his vocals or not, lead singer Gary LeVox has a now instantly recognizable voice so the band has an identity instead of being some faceless entity. Even though country fans are beginning to be as fickle as pop fans always have been, there is still a loyalty there second only to metal fans. Plus, studies show that country fans don’t illegally download in the same numbers that fans other some other genres do.
Looking at the rest of the Top 10 on the Billboard 200, the soundtrack to “Hannah Montana” leaps from 5-2 as the movie breaks box office records across the land. Plus, Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb” is also boosting sales. Rapper Jada Kiss opens at No. 3 with “Last Kiss,” while country artist Jason Aldean comes in at No. 4 with “Wide Open.” All four albums in the top slots sell more than 100,000 copies each, which is a not so common an occurrence lately. Last week’s chart topper, Keith Urban’s ‘Defying Gravity’ falls to No. 7.
Carrie Underwood clearly sees a boost from her big wins at the April 5’s Academy of Country Music Awards as “Carnival Ride” bullets 34-16. Also benefitting are Taylor Swift, whose self-titled album soars 38-21 and Sugarland, who rocket 50-22. The ACMs don’t explain why “Kidz Bop Kids” leaps 83-29. That may have to do with the Easter Bunny.