Carrie Underwood (‘Cry Pretty’) makes history for women on the charts

Carrie Underwood‘s latest album, “Cry Pretty,” had a historic first week on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It’s the number-one album in the US, and it’s a historic debut for a female country artist. It’s also the biggest week for any country album in years.

“Cry Pretty” achieved 266,000 equivalent album units, which are calculated by combining traditional album sales with online streams and individual track sales. That debut is the biggest of the year for a female artist, besting Cardi B‘s “Invasion of Privacy” from this past spring. And it’s the biggest week for a woman since Taylor Swift sold more than a million copies of “Reputation” in its debut last fall.

But that’s not all. This was also the best week for any country album since Luke Bryan‘s “Kill the Lights” moved 345,000 units way back in 2015. And it also sets a new record for female country artists. It’s Underwood’s fourth chart-topper, following “Carnival Ride” (2007), “Play On” (2009) and “Blown Away” (2012). No woman in the genre has ever had that many number-one albums on the Billboard 200. Faith Hill, Linda Ronstadt and Swift each had three country albums reach the top; Swift has five total, but her last two (“1989” and “Reputation”) were strictly pop albums.

This may be good timing for Underwood as it may give her a boost leading up to the CMA Awards where she’s nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, and the American Music Awards where she’s up for Favorite Country Female Artist. Could she be a threat at the Grammys too? She’s already a seven-time winner: six of those were for vocal performances, while the seventh was for Best New Artist (2007). But she has never even been nominated for Best Country Album, and she hasn’t contended in the general field since her New Artist victory.

What do you think of Underwood’s latest effort? Does it sound like another winner?

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