Jelly Roll’s Whitsitt Chapel blasts onto Billboard’s Top Rock & Alternative Albums chart (dated June 17) at No. 1 and the Top Country Albums tally at No. 2. Released June 2, the set earned 90,000 equivalent album units in the United States, with 63,000 in album sales, in the week ending June 8, according to Luminate.

Whitsitt Chapel also arrives at No. 3 on the all-genre Billboard 200, giving the Nashville-born artist, named Jason Bradley DeFord, his first top 10 on the ranking.

Thanks to his first country album, Jelly Roll earns the largest week for an initial entry on Top Country Albums since the chart transitioned to a consumption-based methodology (from one based on pure sales) in February 2017. It surpasses The Highwomen, whose lone Top Country Albums entry (a self-titled set) started at No. 1 in September 2019 with 34,000 units. (The group comprises Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires.) The previous best first week on the chart for a solo male belonged to Bailey Zimmerman’s Leave the Light On (32,000 units, October 2022).

Whitsitt Chapel becomes Jelly Roll’s first No. 1 on Top Rock & Alternative Albums in his second appearance on the tally. Previously, Ballads of the Broken peaked at No. 35 in September 2022.

Notably, the new set follows multiple albums in reaching the top two of both Top Rock & Alternative Albums and Top Country Albums. Those have included, this decade: HARDY’s The Mockingbird & the Crow (No. 1 on both charts, this February), Zach Bryan’s American Heartbreak (No. 1 on both, June 2022), and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s Reunions (No. 1 on both, May 2020).

Whitsitt Chapel’s album sales were helped by three vinyl LPs (including a color-variant exclusive for Walmart), a standard CD, a signed CD sold through Jelly Roll’s webstore, a deeply discounted digital album (only $4.20 for a limited time during the tracking week in his webstore), nine deluxe CD boxed sets that included branded merch and a copy of the CD, and a “hymnal” zine/CD package.

The album sports 13 tracks, including collaborations with Brantley Gilbert, Struggle Jennings, Lainey Wilson and Yelawolf.

Meanwhile, the LP’s lead single, “Need a Favor,” holds at its No. 2 high on Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and pushes 7-4 on Hot Country Songs, with 20.2 million in airplay audience, 11.2 million official streams and 3,000 sold. The track keeps at its No. 3 high on Mainstream Rock Airplay and ascends 14-12 on Country Airplay. On the former, Jelly Roll reigned for a week in May 2022 with “Dead Man Walking.” On the latter list, he led for a week in January with “Son of a Sinner.”

Jim Asker
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