Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean poses in the Wonderwall.com Portrait Studio during 2012 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 6, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for CMT

Aldean's 'Burnin' It Down' makes a record 42-1 blast. Plus, moves for Sam Hunt, Joe Nichols, Kenny Chesney and more.

After debuting last week based solely on two days of airplay, Jason Aldean's "Burnin' It Down" soars 42-1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, claiming his ninth No. 1 and the biggest leap to the summit in the list's history.

Spurring the vault is the arrival of the track atop Digital Songs (where it's his first No. 1) and Country Digital Songs with 184,000 downloads sold in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Also contributing to its rise is the ballad's No. 13 start on Country Streaming Songs with 980,000 U.S. streams (with 72 percent from Spotify plays, according to Nielsen BDS) and its No. 19 launch on Country Airplay (19 million audience impressions). The No. 19 Country Airplay start ties 2012's "Take a Little Ride" for his highest radio bow.

"Burnin'" previews Aldean's sixth studio album, expected before the end of the year. "Burnin'" marks the second time in three weeks that a track has entered Country Digital Songs with more than 180,000 sold, following Florida Georgia Line's arrival with "Dirt" (182,000) two weeks ago. (That total prompted the song's now-broken Hot Country Songs record 40-1 leap; still, the duo, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, has a stake in the new mark, as it co-wrote "Burnin'.")

Since Country Digital Songs premiered in January 2010, Aldean has posted the two largest opening-weeks by a male act; "Ride" began with 189,000 (Aug. 4, 2012), eventually becoming Aldean's most recent Hot Country Songs No. 1 until this week. The only other acts to debut on Country Digital Songs with more than 180,000 sold: Taylor Swift (with seven titles) and Lady Antebellum (one).

Although "Dirt" drops 1-2 after two weeks atop Hot Country Songs, it regains its bullet and adds Streaming Gainer honors; it rebounds 2-1 for a second week in the top spot on Country Streaming Songs (2.1 million, up 18 percent).

'NIGHT' LIFE: Chart rookie Sam Hunt claims his first Hot Country Songs top 10, as "Leave the Night On" hops 12-10. "Night" sets a new peak with an 8-7 lift on Country Digital Songs and scores its biggest sales week (46,000, up 7 percent). The track also reaches a new high (8-5) on Country Streaming Songs (1.5 million, up 12 percent). It pushes 23-22 on Country Airplay.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE … NICHOLS No. 1: Joe Nichols links his longest reign atop Country Airplay as "Yeah" spends a third week at the summit. Previously, he spent as many as two weeks at No. 1 with "Gimmie That Girl" (2010), the third of his five Country Airplay leaders.

'KIDS' STUFF: Kenny Chesney collects his 46th top 10 on Country Airplay, as "American Kids" kicks 11-9. Since his first week in the region (June 24, 1995), Chesney shares the mark for the most top 10s with Tim McGraw (who lifts 7-5 this week with "Meanwhile Back at Mama's" featuring Faith Hill). George Strait follows with 42 in that stretch. Dating to the chart's January 1990 launch, Chesney's top 10 sum ranks fourth among all artists, a list led by Strait (61). Next up: Alan Jackson (51), McGraw (51) and Toby Keith (42).

'YEP,' IT'S A HIT: Dustin Lynch reaches the Country Airplay top 10 for the second time with "Where It's At (Yep, Yep)" (12-10). Lynch first cracked the upper tier with "Cowboys and Angels," which peaked at No. 2 in 2012.

CLASSIC COUNTRY: As Brantley Gilbert rebounds 3-1 for a third week at No. 1 on Top Country Albums, late legend and Country Music Hall of Famer "Tennessee" Ernie Ford appears on the chart for the first time since 1975, as Amazing Grace: 14 Treasured Hymns arrives as the week's highest debut at No. 19. The set marks his best-ever rank on Top Country Albums.

Ford's new release enters Christian Albums at No. 9, marking his first top 10 rank on a Billboard chart in 40 years: his "Hicktown" peaked at No. 9 on Hot Country Songs in August 1965. That song became his last of 17 top 10s on Billboard country song surveys, a run that began in 1949 and includes three No. 1s: 1949's "Mule Train," 1950's "The Shot Gun Boogie" and 1955's "Sixteen Tons." The latter song is a classic coal miner's lament, with its refrain: "You load 16 tons, what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt."

Grace enters the Billboard 200 at No. 159, marking his first placement since 1970. Of his 18 charted titles, he rose as high as No. 2 with 1957's Hymns, which charted for 277 weeks.

In addition to his music, Ford forged a successful TV career. He hosted The Ford Show, a variety show on that showcased his easy humor (and a religious song each week) on NBC in 1956-61. He moved to ABC in 1962-65 for The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show. A World War II vet, Ford boasts a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984.

In addition to his country hits, Ford had a long love with religious music, which the new set showcases. "It's 'happy music'," Ford said in a 1974 interview. "No matter where I go, the first question I'm asked is, "Are you going to close with a sacred song?'

"Even in Las Vegas…"


Additional reporting by Gary Trust