Eric Church Becomes Top 5 Country Star with “The Outsiders” Sales

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Still on track to sell 280-300,000 copies this week, “The Outsiders” will do more than simply give Eric Church another number one album. It will also solidify his place as one of the top-selling acts in country.

Even if it falls slightly short of forecasts, “The Outsiders” will easily rank as the best-selling country album since Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” opened to 528,000 sales in August 2013.

It will also instantly thrust Church into an exclusive club of blockbuster country recording artists. Only Taylor Swift, the aforementioned Bryan and Jason Aldean have recently posted opening week sales tallies in excess of 300,000.

While it will not rival the 409K opening week total for Aldean’s recent “Night Train” (let alone the 528K for Bryan’s “Party” or 1.28K for Swift’s “Red”), the debut count for “The Outsiders” should exceed the marks set by recent releases from superstar acts like Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band.

“Blown Away,” Underwood’s latest, moved 267,000 copies in its first week, while Zac Brown Band’s “Uncaged” was good for 234,000.

“The Outsiders” will also blow away recent performances by names like Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. None of their most recent albums reached 200,000 in opening week sales, let alone the 300,000 which Church’s album is eyeing.