Luke Bryan made the invite, and fans responded. The country star's "Crash My Party" landed at No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts this week and caused quite the celebration in doing so.
"Crash My Party" sold 528,000 copies for the week ending Aug. 18, according to the Nielsen SoundScan stats that constitute the Billboard charts. That's the largest debut week for a male country artist in almost nine years, Billboard reports.
One has to go all the way back to 2004 to Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying," which bowed with 766,000 copies sold, to find a better country entry from an artist not named Taylor Swift. The latter, of course, sold 1.208 million copies of her "Red" during its first week of release late last year.
"Crash My Party" gives Bryan the third-largest debut week of the year -- behind albums from Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z -- and his second No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" landed with 968,000 copies sold, and Jay Z's "Magna Carta .... Holy Grail" ultimately sold just a tad more than Bryan's effort, according to Billboard, not counting the copies of the album used as part of a smartphone promotion.
The title track for "Crash My Party" had already topped sales of 1.2 million downloads heading into the week of release. His 2011 effort "Tailgates & Tanlines" has to date sold more than 2 million copies.
Last year Bryan spoke to The Times about expanding his audience beyond the borders of country music. At the time, his single "Drunk on You" (from 2011's "Tailgates & Tanlines") was roaring up the Hot 100, Billboard's chart that tallies the country's most popular singles.
"I try to be a good representative for country music," Bryan said. "But as a country artist, it’s important to move the needle and make a difference beyond your core audience. But you can’t ever strategically try to accomplish that; then things get weird. I just cut songs I love and that represent what I want to say. And if it crosses over, that’s very flattering. It’s cool to know that with people listening to rock and rap, I’m sitting on their iPods along with that stuff."
In March, Bryan scored his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with “Spring Break ... Here to Party,” a collection that sold nearly 150,000 copies during its first week.
Last week's No. 1, the Civil Wars' latest self-titled effort, falls to No. 5, and R&B artist K. Michelle scored this week's No. 2 album. Her " "Rebellious Soul" sold 72,000 copies.