Joe Nichols
 Ann Marie Hensley

'Sunny and 75' marks the traditional country singer's first leader since 2010

Joe Nichols ends a lengthy absence from No. 1 on Billboard’s Nielsen BDS-based Country Airplay radio chart, as "Sunny and 75" rises 2-1. His fourth No. 1 becomes his first leader since "Gimmie That Girl" crowned the May 8, 2010, chart. (In between, he peaked at No. 17 with "The Shape I’m In" and No. 25 with "Take It Off" in 2011.)

The three-and-a half-year gap between "Girl" and "Sunny" isn’t Nichols' longest dry spell atop the chart. He waited nearly four-and-a-half years between his second and third No. 1s ("Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off," which topped the Dec. 17, 2005, tally and "Girl"). Nichols first dominated the list with "Brokenheartsville" in 2003.

Nichols' new No. 1 is also the first Country Airplay chart topper for his label, Red Bow (an imprint of the Broken Bow Music Group). Parent album "Crickets" reached No. 3 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart in October.

All charts, including County Airplay, will refresh Thursday (Dec. 5) on Billboard.com and Billboardbiz.

Jason Sellers, who co-wrote "Sunny" with Michael Dulaney and Paul Jenkins, recently told Billboard that he and Jenkins first developed the song's title and chorus. Then, Delaney "came in and fixed what we did wrong [laughs]. But, we just liked the feeling of it, whisking you away from wherever you are to this really good place.

"It may not be the beach, it may not be the mountains, but it's a better place than where you are."