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.


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.

The current number-one song, as of the chart dated May 8, 2021, is "The Good Ones" by Gabby Barrett


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]

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 reduced from 100 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 reduced 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 which 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 and Florida Georgia Line 2017–18 [11]
34"Body Like a Back Road" Sam Hunt 2017 [12]
26"I Hope" Gabby Barrett 2020–21 [13]
24"Cruise"Florida Georgia Line2012–13 [12]
21"I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)"Dagger-14-plain.png Eddy Arnold 1947–48 [14]
"I'm Moving On"Double-dagger-14-plain.png Hank Snow 1950 [14]
"In the Jailhouse Now"Dagger-14-plain.png Webb Pierce 1955 [14]
"10,000 Hours" Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber 2019–20 [15]
20"I Don't Hurt Anymore"Dagger-14-plain.pngDouble-dagger-14-plain.pngHank Snow1954 [16]
"Crazy Arms Ray Price 1956 [17]
19"Walk On By" Leroy Van Dyke 1961–62 [14]
"Bouquet Of Roses"Double-dagger-14-plain.png Eddy Arnold 1947–48 [14]
"The Bones" Maren Morris 2020 [18]
18"H.O.L.Y."Florida Georgia Line2016 [12]
17"Heartbreak Hotel"Double-dagger-14-plain.png Elvis Presley 1956 [14]
"Slowly"Dagger-14-plain.pngDouble-dagger-14-plain.pngWebb Pierce1954 [14]
"Slippin' Around"Double-dagger-14-plain.png Jimmy Wakely and Margaret Whiting 1949–50 [14]
"Die a Happy Man" Thomas Rhett 2015–16 [19]
16"Love's Gonna Live Here" Buck Owens 1963–64 [12]
"Lovesick Blues"Double-dagger-14-plain.png Hank Williams 1949–50 [14]
"Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)"Dagger-14-plain.png Tex Williams 1947–48 [14]
"New Spanish Two Step"Dagger-14-plain.png Bob Wills 1946–47 [14]
"Guitar Polka"Dagger-14-plain.png Al Dexter 1946–47 [14]

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 § 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. In 1958 the three charts were merged to create Hot C&W Sides (now Hot Country Songs).

Artists with most cumulative weeks at number one

With at least 50+ weeks at # 1. As of the issue of Billboard dated December 25, 2019

Weeks at
number one
Florida Georgia Line [20]
George Strait [21]
Buck Owens
Tim McGraw
Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson
Sonny James
Merle Haggard
Toby Keith
Sam Hunt
Keith Urban
Bebe Rexha

Artists with the most number one hits

George Strait has the most number one hits, at 44. [22] Dolly Parton has the most number ones of any female artist, with 25. [23]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Billboard</i> Hot 100 Song chart in U.S.

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Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles is a chart published weekly by Billboard magazine in the United States. The chart lists the top songs that have not yet charted on the main Billboard Hot 100. Chart rankings are based on radio airplay, sales, and streams. In its initial years, the chart listed 15 positions, but expanded to as many as 36 during the 1960s, particularly during years when over 700 singles made the Billboard Hot 100 chart. From 1974 to 1985, the chart consisted of 10 positions; since 1992, the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart has listed 25 positions.

"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) 2012 single by Florida Georgia Line

"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 on August 6, 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, 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.

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 7, 2014.

Play It Again (Luke Bryan song) 2014 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.

Something in the Water (Carrie Underwood song) 2014 single by Carrie Underwood

"Something in the Water" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Carrie Underwood, from her compilation album Greatest Hits: Decade #1. The song was released on September 29, 2014, as the album's lead single through Arista Nashville. It was written by Underwood, Chris DeStefano, Brett James, and produced by Mark Bright.


  1. 1 2 "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.CS1 maint: location (link)
  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.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  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.
  12. 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.
  13. "Hot Country Songs Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  14. 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.
  15. Asker, Jim (March 10, 2020). "Maren Morris Scores First No. 1 on Hot Country Songs Chart, Kane Brown Crowns Country Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  16. Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits . Watson-Guptill. p.  515. ISBN   0823076326.
  17. Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits . Watson-Guptill. p.  516. ISBN   0823076326.
  20. "Florida Georgia Line Marks One Hundred Total Weeks Atop Hot Country Songs With 'Meant To Be'". Billboard. October 2, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  21. "Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line's 'Meant to Be' Breaks New Record". Billboard. July 22, 2018. Retrieved July 24, 2018.

Further reading