Can Nashville Top Kanye?
September 20, 2007 at 9:21 AM (PT)
When this week's NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN numbers were released, the music industry got a sales jolt when KANYE WEST's "Graduation" first week numbers came in at 957,000 units. In second placed in this week's home-run derby was 50 CENT's new CD, grabbing the silver with 691,000 copies.
What about NASHVILLE? KENNY CHESNEY grabbed the bronze this week as his new BNA album "Just Who I Am- Poets and Pirates," sold a more than respectable 387,000 copies. But there's more to come, as the world celebrates KANYE WEST and 50 CENT's double punch, can MUSIC CITY save the day yet and top them?
Two of the biggest acts in Country are about to release much anticipated albums -- LYRIC STREET's star group RASCAL FLATTS' new CD "Still Feels Good," is about to hit stores. During 2006, the FLATTS had the biggest week of any genre when "Me And My Gang," sold 721,747 units during the week of APRIL 4th. That album went on to sell over four million copies, and since then the band has gotten stronger and their appeal has gotten wider.
Asked about the expectations for RASCAL FLATTS debut week, VP/Promotion KEVIN HERRING indicated that strong showings by RASCAL FLATTS and CARRIE UNDERWOOD would be encouraging to the entire Country world: "There is no doubt RASCAL FLATTS has the fan base to beat KANYE WEST benchmark for 2007, but it's a formidable task. Our challenge is to alert and activate that fan base to buy the record in the first five days. If we can motivate the consumers who bought the last record in the first 12 days to buy it in the first five, we'll be golden ... or platinum! The FLATTS and CARRIE must do with one format and some crossover what Kanye West did with five formats, but it's doable and it would be interesting if Country radio took on the challenge of beating KANYE WESTin their own markets with RASCAL FLATTS. What a huge headline that would be for our format if the FLATTS scans 957,764 or more the first week!"
Meanwhile at ARISTA, the label's getting ready for CARRIE UNDERWOOD's sophomore release. CARRIE, whose debut CD, "Some Hearts," sold over six million units, will see her sophomore album "Carnival Ride," hitting stores on OCTOBER 23rd. VP/Promotion SKIP BISHOP had this to say about the anticipation from the SONY BMG building as CARRIE's album is about to be released: "If radio's excitement is indicative of the consumer's anticipation, the launch of this release will be massive! The record breaking first week of digital sales on "So Small" are also very positive signs! The scope and creativity from Country radio's partnership of this upcoming music is just crazy! It's so refreshing to feel the music fans reacting to great artists on so many levels. CARRIE has activated a massively loyal fan base at retail; we are expecting great things."