Americana albums now have an official home within the Billboard chart system: The Folk Albums chart has been re-named the Americana and Folk Albums chart.

In an email to record executives (per the Tennessean) on Thursday (May 12), Billboard announced the change, which will take effect beginning on June 4. The new chart will include Americana, folk, roots and acoustic acts, "including solo singer-songwriters of those styles, with greater consideration given to acts leaning more toward the Americana side than before."

"This change recognizes the growth of Americana," Gary Trust, co-director of charts for Billboard, says in the email, "and the prominent rise of the term overall, both within the industry and in widespread music coverage."

Currently, the Americana Music Association maintains an Americana Airplay chart that "represents the reported play of terrestrial radio stations, nationally syndicated radio shows, satellite radio and internet stations who have agreed to submit weekly spin counts. Although Billboard's new chart will only deal with Americana albums, not songs or radio airplay, Jed Hilly, the AMA's executive director, calls the change "a game-changer" and "a home run."

"This chart will represent the importance and sales potential of this genre, and we've never had that before," Hilly says. "I think it will be one of the most significant charts artists will look at, because they'll want to be associated with other artists, because these artists are writing songs to tell stories the best way they can from an artistic standpoint primarily."

Once Billboard officially begins the Americana and Folk Albums chart, fans will be able to view each week's rankings on

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