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Matt Hires' album 'Take Us to the Start' debuts at No. 96




Who needs a physical album?

Boosted by prominent iTunes placement in its first week, Take Us to the Start, the debut album from Tampa singer-songwriter Matt Hires, debuted at No 96 on the Billboard 200 albums chart -- despite only being available in a digital format. It also hit No. 16 on the digital downloads chart.

It's an impressive debut for a local pop-rock artist, that's for sure. But it's not the only chart-rocking debut by a Tampa Bay performer in recent years. In fact, 2008 alone was a banner year for local/national artists. 

In June 2008, the same week Lil Wayne dropped Tha Carter III, Tampa rapper Plies sold 215,000 copies of his album Definition of Real to crash the charts at No. 2.

The very next week, Tarpon Springs rapper 2 Pistols saw his Death Before Dishonor, featuring the T-Pain-assisted single She Got It, spend four weeks on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 32.

And in September, Christian metalcore heroes Underoath debuted at No. 8 with their album Lost in the Sound of Separation. That album actually hit No. 1 on the Christian albums chart.

We'll have to wait and see if Hires gets a boost when Take Us to the Start is released in physical form on Aug. 25. Maybe that'll give him enough juice to overtake Kidz Bop Greatest Hits.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:12pm]


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