Faith Hill snubbed by country radio

Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:32pm EDT

Country music singer Faith Hill arrives for the taping of the Country Music Television special ''CMT Giants'' in Hollywood, California October 26, 2006. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Country music singer Faith Hill arrives for the taping of the Country Music Television special ''CMT Giants'' in Hollywood, California October 26, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

NASHVILLE (Billboard) - Faith Hill's "The Hits" debuted modestly at No. 12 on the U.S. album charts this week on the heels of tepid airplay for the album's first single.

"Lost" peaked at No. 32 on Hot Country Songs in August. The second single "Red Umbrella" is off to a better start -- No. 36 and rising after three weeks -- but Hill has had mixed success with country radio in recent years.

Hill, who first debuted on Hot Country Songs in October 1993, scored eight No. 1 records in her first seven years on the chart, including a duet with her husband, Tim McGraw. Her 2002 album "Cry," however, didn't produce any top 10 hits. Hill's next album, "Fireflies," featured a more mainstream country sound and produced four top 10 singles, including the No. 1 "Mississippi Girl."

In September, Hill told Billboard sister publication Radio & Records that she feels some distance from country radio right now. "For some reason there's a disconnect between me and them -- and that comes from them. I do give radio challenging material, I realize that."

While his station didn't play "Lost," KPLX Dallas program director John Sebastian says, "'Red Umbrella' is Faith's best song in quite a while. She can have a hit anytime she picks a great song."

Like KPLX, WXBQ Bristol, Tenn., didn't play Hill's last single but is playing the new one. Operations manager Bill Hagy says the song "seems to be off to an encouraging start with listeners, meaning it rings the phone."

Reuters/Billboard

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