No. 1 Country Album, No. 2 Top 200 Behind Drake
When Kenny Chesney made Songs for the Saints, he wasn’t thinking about chart positions, country radio or how these songs would play in his live shows—he was worried about the people of the Virgin Islands. Riding out a Category 5 hurricane without the same kinds of safety nets people on mainland take for granted, he understood the peril, and he channeled it into “Song for the Saints,” then “Love for Love City.”
Those two songs are the seeds and the title track for the No. 1 sales debut for an album in America, as well as the No. 1 country album in America. In addition, Songs for the Saints debuts at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200 behind Drake’s Scorpion.
“All I knew was that I was so scared for a lot of people and places that I really loved,” says Chesney of the inspiration. “I was anxious, and I was thousands of miles away. I needed to do something, something that would let those people know they weren’t gonna be forgotten when the news cycle moved on. I had no idea it would be an album, but the songs were something they could sing. And now here we are.”
Here is an album debut with sales in excess of 64,600 copies of Songs for the Saints, according to Nielsen. With consumption, the album totals over 77,300 albums in its first week, making it one of the year’s/country’s most successful debuts without a ticket bundle. As “Get Along” broke Billboard’s record for the most No. 1s on the Country Airplay chart by a single artist, the infectious two-week No. 1 that was Chesney’s 30th chart-topper also returned to the top of the iTunes chart.
As Live in No Shoes Nation was certified platinum last week, No Shoes Nation continues to crave music from the East Tennessee songwriter/superstar whose Trip Around the Sun Tour made him the only country artist on Pollstar’s 2018 Top 10 Tours at midyear. Tapping into the emotions, reality and critical mass of lives real people lead, Chesney has created a dialogue with the American public that is as vital as ever.
“This album means the world to me, because of what it’s about and what it means to the people of the Virgin Islands,” Chesney says. “A lot of who I am is because of the time I’ve spent down there, and how it’s shaped the man I’ve become. It’s how I see the world, and how my music has evolved. So the fact No Shoes Nation has supported this record – a record where all the proceeds go to island recovery – does my heart good.
“There’s a lot of life, and a lot of truth in these songs. The more you listen, the more you’ll find. And I hope these songs, which really celebrate the spirit of the people, will keep inspiring us all no matter what we’re facing, and give back for years to come.”
With Rolling Stone writing that it, “maps a cycle of grief and despair transformed into healing and resilience,” The New York Times offering, “the music gives him heroic, wide-open spaces” and The Chicago Tribune raving, “resonates with love and renewal,” Songs for the Saints is here for the long haul. All to the benefit of the Love for Love City Fund.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.