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Kenny Chesney's 'Lucky Old Sun' rises to No. 1

October 22, 2008 | 11:52 am

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The music industry’s continuing woes make it hard to know when to celebrate and when to weep. Take Kenny Chesney. The country star’s new album, “Lucky Old Sun,” enters the national sales chart at No. 1, giving the Luttrell, Tenn., native his fifth chart topper on the overall pop album listing. But it did so with his lowest first-week sales in nearly a decade.

“Lucky Old Sun” sold 176,000 last week, which Billboard points out is his lowest first week figure since his 1999 collection, “Everywhere We Go,” started out at No. 51 with sales of 30,000 copies. That was before he’d ramped up his status as one of country’s top-selling acts.

Likewise, singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne's new “Gossip in the Grain” sold a little more than double what his 2006 album, “Till the Sun Turns Black” did when it debuted at No. 29 with sales of 28,000. But in these days of diminished expectations, the 60,000 sales for the new one vaulted him up to a No. 3 chart debut.

Lucinda Williams’ critically lauded new album, “Little Honey,” actually sold fewer copies in its first week than last year’s “West,” which entered the chart at No. 14 after selling 57,000 copies. But this time she has a Top 10 album on her hands, “Little Honey” charting at No. 9 with sales of 35,000.

The only other new Top 10 entry is Keane’s “Perfect Symmetry,” debuting at No. 7 with sales of 43,000 copies.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

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