Carrie Underwood is having a record-breaking week following the release of her sixth studio album, Cry Pretty, becoming the first female country act to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Artist 100 chart.
Country artists dominating the first position on the Artist 100 have been few and far between and, like much of country music, it has always been a boy’s club. Prior to Underwood, only nine other country crooners have earned the honor since the chart’s creation in 2014: Kenny Chesney, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton.
Where many charts track only the sales numbers of a release to determine its popularity, the Artist 100 looks at an artist’s overall activity across the various means of music consumption. It combines metrics such as album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media interaction to measure an artist’s popularity with fans, and Underwood just gained a major boost with Cry Pretty.
Further, while that’s a pretty huge deal, the record-breaking doesn’t end there. Cry Pretty reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200—making Underwood the first female country artist to have four albums reach No. 1—and it also had the biggest solo female album debut of 2018, unseating Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy after it reached 265,654 track equivalent album sales this past weekend.
Check out our review of Cry Pretty here and evaluate the album’s title track for yourself, below.