Florida Georgia Line: With 'Cruise' Climbing, Duo Turns to Debut Album
Florida Georgia Line: With 'Cruise' Climbing, Duo Turns to Debut Album

The duo concurrently starts on Country Albums at No. 3 with its debut set 'Here's to the Good Times'

In the first turnover atop Billboard's Country Songs chart since the ranking's formula changed from core country radio audience to a digital, streaming and expanded radio panel hybrid, Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" sails 2-1. The song halts Taylor Swift's nine-week reign with her country-turned-pop crossover hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."

Swift's smash debuted at No. 13 on the Sept. 1 Country Songs tally (then based solely on Nielsen BDS-monitored country airplay), marking the highest bow for a female artist in the chart's 23-year BDS-based archives. Once the Country Songs chart's three-pronged methodology was implemented the week of Oct. 20, the song began its nine-week command, aided by strong sales ("Never" has moved 2.7 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan) and pop and adult crossover airplay. Its nine-week rule on Country Songs rewrote the record for the longest No. 1 stay for a woman, passing Connie Smith's eight weeks on top with "Once a Day" in 1964.

"Cruise," the Greatest Gainer/Streaming award winner on Country Songs, logs a second week at No. 1 on the Country Airplay scorecard and a fourth nonconsecutive week atop Country Digital Songs with release-to-date sales of 1.3 million downloads.

Concurrently, the duo's first full-length album, "Here's to the Good Times," opens at No. 3 on Country Albums and No. 10 on the Billboard 200, starting with 63,000 sold. As the album arrives, four other tracks from the set appear on Country Songs. The title track begins as the Hot Shot Debut at No. 33, followed by "Round Here," new at No. 36, "Get Your Shine On," which holds at No. 37, and "Stay," a debut at No. 47.

'RED' REIGN: With 167,000 sold during the SoundScan tracking week, Country Albums is led for a seventh straight week by Swift's "Red," which hoists the Greatest Gainer cup (up 30,000). After three weeks at No. 2, the album returns for a fourth total week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

MO MONEY MOORE FACTS: Elsewhere on Country Songs, Kip Moore celebrates his second top 10 with "Beer Money," which jumps 11-9 in its 25th chart week. He crowned the chart for two weeks in June with "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck," the second single from his debut album "Up All Night", which debuted at No. 3 on Country Albums in May.

The Band Perry's "Better Dig Two" is the Greatest Gainer/Digital for a second straight week on Country Songs, where it remains at No. 4, while Eric Church's "Creepin'" claims the Greatest Gainer/Airplay nod (12-11). The latter song jumps from No. 11 to No. 7, a new peak, on Country Airplay.

TOP 10 'ZONE': With his 29th career top 10 on Country Airplay, Brad Paisley enters a three-way tie with Tim McGraw and Toby Keith for the second-most top 10s since the West Virginia native first reached the upper tier 13 years ago. Paisley pads his total as "Southern Comfort Zone" hops 12-10 in its 12th chart week.

During that time frame, Kenny Chesney leads with 35 Country Airplay top 10s, while the Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts (28 each) follow Paisley, McGraw and Keith. During Paisley's top 10 window, opened when "He Didn't Have to Be" cracked the top 10 on the Nov. 6, 1999, chart, George Strait and Alan Jackson trail with 26 and 20 top 10s, respectively.

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