This story has been updated.
Tyler Childers and his major label debut album Country Squire are #1 in country music. Released August 2nd via Sony’s RCA and Tyler’s own Hickman Holler Records, the album sold 23,962 records in pure album sales, and when considering the 9,938,075 streams that songs from the record received, amassed a total of almost 32,212 total units, besting all competition, including the red hot Luke Combs who comes in at #2 on the week.
Additionally, Country Squire comes in at #1 in all of music when considering pure album sales, speaking to the loyalty of Tyler Childers fans. Country Squire also comes in at #1 on the Billboard Americana/Folk chart, and #12 on the Billboard 200 all-genre albums chart, far and away Tyler’s best showing. His previous album Purgatory debuted at #17 in the Billboard Country Albums chart, and didn’t chart on the Billboard 200 at all.
Tyler Childers joins a very select group of artists who’ve gone #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart with no significant mainstream radio play, including Sturgill Simpson, Aaron Watson, Blackberry Smoke, and Jason Isbell—names considered apex predators in the non commercial country industry. Also as a surprise, his last record Purgatory received a boost due to the new release. The record surges back onto the country charts at #32 after receiving nearly 4 million new streams last week, along with selling over 1,000 new physical copies.
The performance of Country Squire speaks to the surging interest in Tyler Childers as he continues to sell out live dates and headline festivals all across the country, and follow in the footsteps of his producer Sturgill Simpson in amassing a huge following despite the ambivalence of mainstream country radio. It will be interesting to now see if the Grammy Awards and others will pay attention to Tyler Childers after the big debut for Country Squire.
Tyler Childers is also taking a leadership role in country music, saying recently, “The problem with country is we’ve turned the props into the play. Let’s not just Solo cup and pickup truck it to death. Let’s handle this in a smart way. Nobody is thinking about lyrical content, or how we’re moving people, or what’s going on in the background of their minds…”
The 28-year-old from Lawrence County, Kentucky started playing music when he was 13, and learned how to sing in the church choir. He released his first record at 19 called Bottles and Bibles, and appearing throughout Kentucky and West Virginia, Childers became a regional phenomenon. He was given a major boost when the drummer for Sturgill Simpson, Miles Miller, introduced the two. Soon Childers was signed to Thirty Tigers, and became one of the fastest-rising artists in country music. It was announced in May that Tyler Childers had signed to Sony Music division RCA Records in a partnership with his own imprint, Hickman Holler Records.
Luke Combs and This Ones For You came in at #2 in country this week, only selling 2,870 units in pure album sales, but putting up over 23 million streams. Expect Tyler’s Country Squire to fall out of the top position next week, but don’t be surprised if both the new record and Purgatory remain strong on the country albums chart for months to come if serve holds.