THE 'FALL' GUY: A week after the onset of autumn (Sept. 22), Kenny Chesney fittingly tops Country Songs with "The Boys of Fall," which rises 2-1.
All charts will be refreshed tomorrow (Sept. 30) on Billboard.com.
The football-themed tale grants Chesney a Country Songs No. 1 for a 10th consecutive year. He banked one leader in each year from 2001 through 2005, two in 2006, 2008 and 2009, and three in 2007.
Chesney's 10-year streak of reaching the Country Songs summit is the longest since Tim McGraw sent at least one title to the top each year from 1994 through 2004. In the chart's 66-year history, just six artists have strung together longer runs of annual No. 1s than Chesney:
19 years, George Strait, 1982-2000
16 years, Ronnie Milsap, 1974-89
14 years, Alabama, 1980-93
12 years, Loretta Lynn, 1967-78
11 years, Tim McGraw, 1994-2004
11 years, Dolly Parton, 1977-87
10 years, Kenny Chesney, 2001-10
10 years, Conway Twitty, 1968-77
10 years, Merle Haggard, 1967-76
"The Boys of Fall" is Chesney's 18th Country Songs No. 1, dating to his first, "She's Got It All," the week of Aug. 30, 1997. In that span, Chesney now shares the mark for most chart leaders with McGraw (who debuts this week at No. 33 with "Felt Good on My Lips," his second-best bow among 61 career chart entries; only "Grown Men Don't Cry" (No. 30, 2001) arrived at a higher rank).
Chesney will seek additional chart headlines next week when his 14th studio album, "Hemingway's Whiskey," is expected to storm the upper reaches of the Billboard 200 and Country Albums.
'MAN' UP: Mumford & Sons reach the Alternative Songs summit on their first try, as "Little Lion Man" jumps 5-1.
The act is the fifth to carry a maiden chart entry to the apex this year, following Phoenix ("1901"), Crash Kings ("Mountain Man"), the Dirty Heads ("Lay Me Down," featuring Rome) and Neon Trees ("Animal").
2010 boasts the highest number of Alternative Songs No. 1s by rookie acts since six ruled with their first charted hits in 1997: Third Eye Blind ("Semi-Charmed Life"), matchbox 20 ("Push"), Sugar Ray ("Fly"), Smash Mouth ("Walkin' on the Sun"), Chumbawamba ("Tubthumping") and Marcy Playground ("Sex and Candy").
Mumford & Sons' first charted single is just the sixth of 282 No. 1s in the chart's history released on an independent label, and the fourth since last year. With the British folk-rock quartet's coronation, Glassnote Records becomes the first independent label to earn multiple Alternative Songs leaders:
Title, Artist, Label, Year
"Little Lion Man," Mumford & Sons, Glassnote, 2010
"Lay Me Down," the Dirty Heads featuring Rome of Sublime, Executive, 2010
"1901," Phoenix, Glassnote, 2010
"Panic Switch," Silversun Pickups, dangerbird, 2009
"What It's Like," Everlast, Tommy Boy, 1998
"Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)," the Offspring, Epitaph, 1994
SWEET 'DREAM': Nelly extends his lead for most top 10s among rappers on the Nielsen BDS-based Pop Songs radio airplay chart, as "Just a Dream" jumps 11-9, becoming his 13th top 10 on the tally. Next among rappers on Pop Songs are Ludacris with 11 top 10s and Eminem with nine.
"Just a Dream" marks Nelly's first top 10 on the survey since "Grillz," featuring Paul Wall, Ali and Gipp, peaked at No. 7 in 2006.
The first single from Nelly's forthcoming sixth studio album, "5.0," due Nov. 16, concurrently debuts on Hot Dance Airplay at No. 16 and becomes his 16th top 10 on Rap Songs (12-9). The song is his first top 10 on the latter list since "Body on Me," featuring Ashanti and Akon, reached No. 10 in 2008.