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Published: Friday, 10/14/2005

Gretchen Wilson tops country, pop charts

Following on the heels of her quadruple platinum debut record, "Here

for the Party," Gretchen Wilson is off to an even stronger start with her sophomore album.

"All Jacked Up" sold an amazing 264,000 copies during its first week

in stores. That total was good enough to finish atop last week's

Billboard Country Albums Chart and the Top 200 Chart. A little more

than 16 months ago, Wilson's "Here for the Party" topped the country

chart, but it debuted at No. 2 on the Top 200 Chart.

Wilson celebrated the release by returning to her hometown of

Pocahontas, Ill., to sign autographs at the city's Wal-Mart. More

than 3,000 fans showed up, and Wilson signed for each and every one, taking three hours to complete the task.

* * *

This week's Country Albums Chart was topped by Sara Evans' new

release, "Real Fine Place."

Evans sold an impressive 125,725 copies the first week, the highest

first-week total of her career.

* * *

And good news for the boys of Rascal Flatts. Their "Feels Like Today"

record, which was released on Sept. 28, 2004, was certified triple

platinum this week for sales of 3 million copies.

The record contains the No. 1 hits "Fast Cars and Freedom" and "Bless the Broken Road." Their current single, "Skin (Sarabeth)," slides into the Top 10 this week. For their career, Rascal Flatts has now sold more than 7 million copies of their three albums.

* * *

Garth Brooks may be officially retired, but he's got the hottest

single on the radio this week.

"Good Ride Cowboy," Garth's tribute to his buddy, Chris LeDoux,

debuted at No. 26 on the Radio and Records chart. An amazing 103

stations added the song to its playlists.

It is the first single that Garth has released to radio since 2003.

* * *

Be on the lookout for the first release off of Carrie Underwood's

upcoming album. "Jesus, Take the Wheel" will arrive at radio stations

on Tuesday.

Underwood was the winner of last season's "American Idol," and her

debut record "Some Hearts" will be in stores on Nov. 15.

* * *

I'm looking forward to checking out the CMT special, "Wanted: Big &

Rich - Alive in Deadwood," which premieres on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 10

p.m.

The special is based on a recent free concert in Deadwood, S.D., a

town that has inspired much of Big & Rich's music. The duo's

much-awaited sophomore album, "Comin' to Your City," will be in

stores on Nov. 15.

* * *

And finally, best wishes to Loretta Lynn, who continues to battle a

host of health problems.

Lynn has been forced to cancel all of her October concerts after

falling and breaking her left foot just before she was set to go back

out on the road.

On Oct. 1, Lynn was forced to cancel a show at her Tennessee ranch

because of hypertension.



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