Hot Country Songs

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Florida Georgia Line holds the records for the most cumulative weeks atop the Hot Country Songs chart (106) and the most weeks atop the chart for a single song (50 for "Meant to Be," a collaboration with pop singer Bebe Rexha). Flagaline.jpg
Florida Georgia Line holds the records for the most cumulative weeks atop the Hot Country Songs chart (106) and the most weeks atop the chart for a single song (50 for "Meant to Be," a collaboration with pop singer Bebe Rexha).

Hot Country Songs is a chart published weekly by Billboard magazine in the United States.

<i>Billboard</i> (magazine) American music magazine

Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.


This 50-position chart lists the most popular country music songs, calculated weekly by collecting airplay data from Nielsen BDS along with digital sales and streaming.

Country music, also known as country and western, and hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as folk music and blues.

Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, better known as BDS, is a service that tracks monitored radio, television and internet airplay of songs based on the number of spins and detections. The service, which is a subsidiary of Nielsen Corporation provides the basis for Nielsen Media publication Billboard in the United States, while in Canada, BDS helps determine the Canadian BDS Airplay Chart and the Canadian Hot 100 chart, which is published by Jam! and in the website for Canadian Music Network, in determining their radio airplay music charts and determines the chart movement in Billboard's Hot 100 chart when combined with single sales from Nielsen SoundScan. From August 2006 to its final June 2009 publication, BDS also provided chart data for R&R after Nielsen acquired the trade. On September 10, 2009, the website struck a partnership with Nielsen BDS to provide radio airplay charts and related data for over 20 formats.

The current number-one song, as of the chart dated April 27, 2019, is "Beautiful Crazy" by Luke Combs.

Beautiful Crazy song by Luke Combs

"Beautiful Crazy" is a song by American country music singer Luke Combs. The song, which he wrote with Wyatt Durrette and Robert Williford, is a bonus track to his 2017 debut album This One's for You. The song had gained viral attention prior to its release as a single.

Luke Combs country music singer

Luke Albert Combs is an American country music singer and songwriter. Combs has released one album for Columbia Nashville, which has produced five singles: "Hurricane", "When It Rains It Pours", "One Number Away", "She Got the Best of Me" and "Beautiful Crazy" all five of which have reached the number one position on Billboard's Country Airplay, which made Combs the first artist to have five number ones on the chart with his first five single releases.


Billboard began compiling the popularity of country songs with its January 8, 1944 issue. Only the genre's most popular jukebox selections were tabulated, with the chart titled "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". [2]

Jukebox device to play music singles with

A jukebox is a partially automated music-playing device, usually a coin-operated machine, that will play a patron's selection from self-contained media. The classic jukebox has buttons with letters and numbers on them that, when entered in combination, are used to play a specific selection.

For approximately ten years, from 1948 to 1958, Billboard used three charts to measure the popularity of a given song. [2] In addition to the jukebox chart, these charts included:

The juke box chart was discontinued in June 1957. Starting with the October 20, 1958 issue, Billboard began combining sales and radio airplay in figuring a song's overall popularity, counting them in one single chart called "Hot C&W Sides". [2] The chart was published under the title Hot C&W Sides through the October 27, 1962 issue and "Hot Country Singles" thereafter, a title it would retain until 1990. [3]

On January 20, 1990, the Hot Country Singles chart was put to 75 positions and began to be compiled entirely from information provided by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, a system which electronically monitors radio airplay of songs. [4] Four weeks later, on February 17, the chart was retitled "Hot Country Singles & Tracks". Beginning with the January 13, 2001 issue, the chart was cut from 75 to 60 positions, and all songs on the chart at the time had their tally of weeks spent on the chart adjusted to count only weeks spent at No. 60 or higher. [5] Effective April 30, 2005, the chart was renamed "Hot Country Songs".

Starting in 1990, the rankings were determined by Arbitron-tallied listener audience for each spin that a song received. The methodology was changed for the first chart published in 1992 to tally the amount of spins a song received, but in January 2005, the methodology reverted to the audience format. This change was brought on because of "label-sponsored spin programs" that had manipulated the chart several times in 2004. [6]

The Hot Country Songs chart methodology was changed starting with the October 20, 2012 issue to match the Billboard Hot 100: digital downloads and streaming data are combined with airplay from all radio formats to determine position. A new chart, the Country Airplay chart, was created using airplay exclusively from country radio stations. Following the change, songs that were receiving airplay on top-40 pop were given a major advantage over songs popular only on country radio, and as an unintended consequence, such songs began having record-long runs at the top of the chart. The first song to benefit from this change was Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", which had been declining in popularity but shot up to number one on the chart the first week the change took effect and stayed there until it set an all-time record for the most weeks at No. 1 by a solo female. [7] This was followed almost immediately by Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise", which had the longest stay at number one of any song in the country chart's history (24 weeks), [8] until it was surpassed by Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road" in 2017 (34 weeks). The record was subsequently broken by Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line's "Meant to Be" in 2018 (50 weeks). [1]

Billboard has not explicitly defined how it determines what songs qualify for the country chart and which ones do not, only that "a few factors are determined (...) first and foremost is musical composition" and that a song must "embrace enough elements of today’s country music" to qualify. (The 1990–2012 chart did not have such ambiguity, being objectively measured by airplay from specifically identified country stations alone.) A later statement from Billboard elaborated on what those "few factors" entailed: "most notably the song’s musical composition, but also how the song is marketed and promoted, the musical history of the artist, airplay the song receives and how the song is platformed on streaming services." [9] The 2019 country rap record "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X was a subject of controversy over this ambiguous standard after it initially appeared on the country chart, where it debuted and peaked at number 19, before Billboard took the song off subsequent charts, claiming it had made a mistake in including it. The song gained popularity through viral memes rather than radio, as only one country station, Radio Disney Country, had played it at the time of the charting. [10]

Hot Country Songs chart achievements

Songs with most weeks at number one

These are the songs with 16 or more weeks at number one. Fifteen songs accomplished this feat between 1946 and 1964, but none did so again until after the 2012 reformulation; between "Almost Persuaded's" nine-week run in 1966 and the chart's reformulation in 2012, no song spent more than eight weeks atop the chart. Prolonged runs became commonplace again in 2012 As of October 2018; five songs from this period have topped the chart for at least 16 weeks, and the top three longest chart runs have all been since 2012.

50"Meant to Be" Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line 2017–18 [1]
34"Body Like a Back Road" Sam Hunt 2017 [11]
24"Cruise"Florida Georgia Line2012–13 [11]
21"I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)"Dagger-14-plain.png Eddy Arnold 1947–48 [12]
"I'm Moving On"Double-dagger-14-plain.png Hank Snow 1950 [12]
"In the Jailhouse Now"Dagger-14-plain.png Webb Pierce 1955 [12]
20"I Don't Hurt Anymore"Dagger-14-plain.pngDouble-dagger-14-plain.pngHank Snow1954 [13]
"Crazy Arms"Section sign.svg Ray Price 1956 [14]
19"Walk On By" Leroy Van Dyke 1961–62 [12]
"Bouquet Of Roses"Double-dagger-14-plain.png Eddy Arnold 1947–48 [12]
18"H.O.L.Y."Florida Georgia Line2016 [11]
17"Die a Happy Man" Thomas Rhett 2015-16 [15]
"Heartbreak Hotel"Double-dagger-14-plain.png Elvis Presley 1956 [12]
"Slowly"Dagger-14-plain.pngDouble-dagger-14-plain.pngWebb Pierce1954 [12]
"Slippin' Around"Double-dagger-14-plain.png Jimmy Wakely and Margaret Whiting 1949–50 [12]
16"Love's Gonna Live Here" Buck Owens 1963–64 [11]
"Lovesick Blues"Double-dagger-14-plain.png Hank Williams 1949–50 [12]
"Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)"Dagger-14-plain.png Tex Williams 1947–48 [12]
"New Spanish Two Step"Dagger-14-plain.png Bob Wills 1946–47 [12]
"Guitar Polka"Dagger-14-plain.png Al Dexter 1946–47 [12]

Note: Songs marked Dagger-14-plain.png achieved their runs on the Most Played in Juke Boxes chart (published 1944-58). Songs marked Double-dagger-14-plain.png achieved their runs on the Best Sellers on Stores chart (published 1948-58). Songs marked Section sign.svg achieved their runs on the Most Played by Jockeys chart (published 1949-58). All songs listed for the period when multiple charts were in operation also had shorter runs at number one on the other charts not indicated. The three charts were merged to create Hot C&W Sides (now Hot Country Songs) in 1958.

Artists with most cumulative weeks at number one

As of the issue of Billboard dated November 17, 2018

Weeks at
number one
Florida Georgia Line [16]
George Strait [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

"Right Where I Need to Be" is a song written by Casey Beathard and Kendell Marvel and recorded by American country music artist Gary Allan. It was released in September 2000 as the third and last single from Allan's 1999 album Smoke Rings in the Dark. The song reached number 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Tracks and Singles chart in June 2001, thus becoming his first Top 5 hit and his third Top 10.

"I'll Hold You in My Heart " is a 1947 song by Eddy Arnold. The song was Eddy Arnold's third number one on the Billboard Juke Box Folk Records chart. "I'll Hold You in My Heart " spent 46 weeks on the chart and 21 weeks at number one. The song also served as Arnold's first crossover hit, peaking at number 22 on the Billboard Best Sellers in Stores chart.

Cruise (song) Country music hit song

"Cruise" is a song recorded by American country music duo Florida Georgia Line. It was first released to iTunes in April 2012 and then to radio in August 2012 as the first single from their extended play It'z Just What We Do. It was written by group members Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard with Joey Moi, Chase Rice, and Jesse Rice. It is included on their first album for Republic Nashville, Here's to the Good Times, which was released on December 4. "Cruise" is the best-selling country digital song of all time in the United States as of January 2014. The song is considered the foremost example of the genre of country music termed "bro-country".

Country Airplay is a chart published weekly by Billboard magazine in the United States since January 20, 1990.

Round Here (Florida Georgia Line song) song recorded by American country music duo Florida Georgia Line

"Round Here" is a song recorded by American country music duo Florida Georgia Line. It was released in June 2013 as the third single from their album Here's to the Good Times. It was written by Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins, and Thomas Rhett.

This Is How We Roll country song

"This Is How We Roll" is a song recorded by American country music duo Florida Georgia Line with fellow country music singer Luke Bryan. It is the fifth and final single from Florida Georgia Line's debut studio album, Here's to the Good Times, although it is only included on the 2013 This Is How We Roll re-release. Cole Swindell assisted the artists in writing the song. A remix, featuring Jason Derulo and Bryan was released on June 6, 2014.

Play It Again (Luke Bryan song) single by Luke Bryan

"Play It Again" is a song written by Dallas Davidson and Ashley Gorley and recorded by American country music artist Luke Bryan. It was released in March 2014 as the fourth single from Bryan’s 2013 album Crash My Party. On April 17, 2014, the song became Bryan's eighth non-consecutive chart-topper on the Hot Country Songs chart, the most by any act in the time since his first number one "Rain Is a Good Thing" hit the top spot on July 24, 2010.


  1. 1 2 3 "Billboard Country Update: November 12, 2018" (PDF). Billboard. November 12, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 Campbell, Michael (1 January 2012). Popular Music in America:The Beat Goes On. Chapter 30 Honky Tonk: Cengage Learning. p. 125.
  3. Whitburn, Joel (2005). Joel Whitburn's Top Country Songs: 1944–2005. Record Research. p. ix. ISBN   9780898201659.
  4. "R&B Enjoying Rare Dominance Over Rap". Billboard: 68. 24 April 2004. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  5. Jessen, Wade (January 13, 2001). "Country Corner" (PDF). Billboard.
  6. "Country returns to audience-based chart". 20 November 2004: 88.
  7. Jessen, Wade (6 December 2012). "Taylor Swift Makes Country Songs History". Billboard Magazine. Billboard Musix. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  8. Jessen, Wade (August 1, 2013). "Florida Georgia Line's 'Cruise' Sets Record For Longest No. 1 Run On Hot Country Songs". Billboard . Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  10. Elias Leight (March 26, 2019). "Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' Was a Country Hit. Then Country Changed Its Mind". Rolling Stone . Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  11. 1 2 3 4 Asker, Jim (April 3, 2018). "Florida Georgia Line Now Has 3 of the 5 Longest-Leading Hot Country Songs No. 1s, Thanks to 'Meant to Be'". Billboard. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Jessen, Wade (July 24, 2013). "Florida Georgia Line's 'Cruise' Ties For Longest No. 1 Run On Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  13. Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits. Watson-Guptill. p. 515. ISBN   0823076326.
  14. Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits. Watson-Guptill. p. 516. ISBN   0823076326.
  16. "Florida Georgia Line Marks One Hundred Total Weeks Atop Hot Country Songs With 'Meant To Be'". Billboard. October 2, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  17. "Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line's 'Meant to Be' Breaks New Record". Billboard. July 22, 2018. Retrieved July 24, 2018.

Further reading