In the first turnover atop Billboard's Hot 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 Hot 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 Hot 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 Hot 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 Top 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 Hot 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.
With 167,000 sold during the SoundScan tracking week, Top 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. The set has sold 2.38 million copies to date.