Lady Gaga Releases Holiday EP
Lady Gaga Releases Holiday EP

Ask Billboard is updated every week. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to [email protected]. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.

'RAIN' MOVING IN ON HOT 100

Hi Gary!

While Chris Young still owns the overall record for the slowest climb to No. 1 on the Country Songs tally with his twice-released "Voices" (51 weeks), if we were to go by one solitary trip, the record would go to David Nail, who needed 49 weeks over one release to reach the top this week with "Let It Rain."

Not only is this the first chart-topper for Nail, whose previous biggest chart hit was 2010's "Red Light" (No. 7), and the first new chart-topper of 2012, but it's also the first leader (and first top 10) for the featured artist on "Rain," Sarah Buxton.

To recap, here are the three slowest climbs to the top of Country Songs in the chart's 68 years:

51 weeks, "Voices," Chris Young (non-consecutive; peaked at No. 36 in its first chart run) (2011)
49 weeks, "Let It Rain," David Nail featuring Sarah Buxton (2012)
41 weeks, "Find Out Who Your Friends Are," Tracy Lawrence (2007)
38 weeks, "Crazy Girl," Eli Young Band (2011)

Best,

John Maverick
Burt County, Nebraska

Hi John,

Thanks for your usual detailed coverage of our country charts!

Nail seems like one of the format's most promising rising stars, with "Red Light" and "Let It Rain" showing off his mix of pop-flavored traditional-country vocals and talent for catchy choruses.

Taylor Swift is also a fan of the singer/songwriter, who Tweeted in 2009 that "Red" had become her "new favorite" song.

Has for "Rain" also won over Swift? "Taylor told me, 'I love 'Let it Rain.' It's so good. You're on fire! I'm so happy for you,'" Nail remembers. "I looked right at her and said ... 'You mind Tweeting that (too)?' "

In terms of song titles, Nail's current single is one of several on the Hot 100 this week that paint an ominous view of the weather. Currently on the chart are:

"It Will Rain," Bruno Mars (No. 3)
"Set Fire to the Rain," Adele (No. 4)
"Strange Clouds," B.o.B featuring Lil Wayne (No. 44)
"Let It Rain," David Nail featuring Sarah Buxton (No. 51)
" Storm Warning," Hunter Hayes (No. 83)

At least there's Colbie Caillat's "Brighter Than the Sun." In its 21st week, the song reaches a new peak of No. 56 and is challenging for the top spot on Adult Pop Songs.