Red River Runs Deep

Blake Shelton’s Red River Blue braved the Soundscan rapids to debut at the top of the all-genre album chart today (7/20). He moved 116K units, making it the biggest sales week of his career. In fact, the Warner Music Nashville release is the only title that broke the 100K mark on this week’s report.

Shelton scored 29% digital album sales. Meanwhile, his new single “God Gave Me You” debuted with 40K downloads.

Chris Young’s Neon also lit up the charts in a glowing debut week. With 73K units sold, the Sony Music Nashville album came in at No. 4 on the overall rankings, and No. 2 on the Country list.

By comparison, rockers Incubus debuted with 80K, and singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat opened with 66K.

Ashton Shepherd’s sophomore effort Where Country Grows got started with 11K. Young and Shepherd both raked in 20% digital.

Shepherd’s UMG labelmate Scotty McCreery is climbing the Country albums chart with his American Idol project, which has moved 71K copies in just three weeks. He sold 17K units for a 23% week-to-week jump.

Elsewhere, Jason Aldean’s still kicking up dust with “Dirt Road Anthem” selling 115K downloads this week. And after 37 weeks on the charts, his BBR album My Kinda Party is hanging at No. 3 on the Country list, selling 42K this week for a RTD total of 1.5 million-plus.

There’s also a small bright spot for the Country genre as a whole, which saw its first year-to-year growth on the latest report: album sales are up .6%.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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