The singer returns to the top of Country Songs for the first time since 2004. Plus, Britney Spears soars and Paramore previews its new album.
As he tops the Billboard 200 for the first time with "Set You Free," Gary Allan returns to the top of Country Songs with "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)" (2-1). The song marks his fourth No. 1 on the latter list and first since "Nothing On But the Radio" led for two weeks in December 2004. He first reached the summit with "Man to Man" and "Tough Little Boys" in 2003.
(And, how about a hand for a Gary topping the Billboard 200 for the first time in the chart's almost 57-year history. A great first name, says this unbiased author!)
Allan's return to the top of Country Songs places him among heady company when it comes to acts that have received such warm welcomes at country radio after lengthy absences from No. 1. His eight-year, two-month gap between leaders represents the sixth-greatest since Hot Country Songs adopted Nielsen Music data the week of Jan. 20, 1990.
Alabama holds the mark in that span, having waited 17 years, six months and one week between dominating with "Reckless" in 1993 and as a guest act on Brad Paisley's tribute to the band "Old Alabama" in 2011. Paisley also factors into the time frame's second-longest No. 1 hiatus, as Dolly Parton ended a 14-year, 10-month break when their collaboration "When I Get Where I'm Going" reached No. 1 in 2006. She had last ruled before then with "Rockin' Years," with Ricky Van Shelton, in 1991.
Here's a look at the longest spans between Country Songs No. 1s since 1990:
17 years, 6 months, 1 week, Alabama (1993-2011)
14 years, 10 months, Dolly Parton (1991-2006)
10 years, 11 months, 2 weeks, Tracy Lawrence (1996-2007)
9 years, 1 month, 2 weeks, Garth Brooks (1998-2007)
8 years, 8 months, 3 weeks, Randy Travis (1994-2003)
8 years, 2 months, Gary Allan (2004-13)
7 years, 10 months, 1 week, Jimmy Buffett (2003-11)
6 years, 4 months, Travis Tritt (1994-2000)
6 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, Diamond Rio (1991-97)
5 years, 8 months, Terri Clark (1999-2004)
Dating to the Country Songs chart's earliest incarnation in 1944 (as "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records"), Elvis Presley has gone the longest between No. 1s. The King waited 19 years, two months and two weeks between "Jailhouse Rock," his eighth genre No. 1, the week of Dec. 2, 1957, and "Moody Blue," which returned him to the summit on Feb. 19, 1977.
Following his No. 1 homecoming, Presley reigned with his next single, as well, as "Way Down" led the Aug. 20, 1977, chart. The coronation was more bitter than sweet, as Presley had died four days earlier.
He logged his 11th and final Country Songs No. 1 with "Guitar Man" in 1981.
SOMETHING TO 'SHOUT' ABOUT: Will.i.am and Britney Spears soar to the Radio Songs top 10 with "Scream & Shout," which lifts 12-9. The song scores a 19% gain to 73 million in all-format audience, according to Nielsen BDS.
The track, which pushes 6-5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and leads Dance/Electronic Songs for a third week, marks Spears' 12th top 10 on Radio Songs (which launched as a BDS-based chart the week of Dec. 1, 1990). She first reached the region in 1999 with her introductory hit "…Baby One More Time" and had last inhabited the tier in 2011 with "I Wanna Go."
Here's a recap of the women with the most top 10s in the Radio Songs archives:
23, Mariah Carey
15, Janet Jackson
12, Britney Spears
11, Alicia Keys
11, Katy Perry
"Shout," meanwhile, marks will.i.am's first Radio Songs top 10 as a lead act. It's his second overall following his seven-week reign in 2010 as a featured artist on Usher's "OMG."
He's tallied seven Radio Songs top 10s with the Black Eyed Peas.
LUCKY 7 (MILLION): Having already topped a bevy of Billboard charts and earned the honor of the No. 1 Hot 100 song of 2012, Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," featuring Kimbra (up 45-44 in its 56th week), adds a new milestone: With 21,000 downloads sold last week, it passes 7 million in digital sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan, becoming just the fourth title to crack the 7-million-sold barrier.
The Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" leads with 8.2 million downloads sold, followed by Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" (7.7 million) and LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" (7.5 million).
The songs spent eight, 14, seven and six weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100, respectively.
A-HA, THEY'RE BACK!: Pitbull's "Feel This Moment," featuring Christina Aguilera, starts at No. 99 on the Hot 100 (and No. 38 on the Pop Songs radio airplay chart). It also brings back, via a sample, a classic 1985 Hot 100 No. 1: a-ha's "Take on Me."
"Moment" marks Aguilera's second consecutive Hot 100 collaboration: "Just a Fool," with Blake Shelton, her co-coach on NBC's "The Voice," reached No. 71 in December.
'NOW' AND THEN: Paramore previews its self-titled fourth album, due April 9, as "Now" vaults onto Rock Songs at No. 16. The track enters Alternative Digital Songs at No. 9 and Rock Digital Songs at No. 11 with 29,000 first-week downloads sold, according to SoundScan.
Paramore's previous album, 2009's "Brand New Eyes," was its last with original members Josh and Zac Farro. Now a trio, the band, fronted by lead singer Hayley Williams, feels that an eponymously-titled set is fitting for its return. "It was a process that allowed us the freedom to explore new territory artistically and to liberate ourselves as musicians, singers, as people," the group says . "We feel that the best way to give [the new set] a name is just to call it what it is. This album is us."
Along with the new single's sales start, radio likewise welcomes the band back, as "Now" bows on Rock Airplay at No. 39 with 1.7 million audience impressions on 35 stations, according to BDS. The song starts on the Alternative Songs airplay chart as the Greatest Gainer at No. 37.
Paramore posted five Alternative Songs top 10s between 2007 and 2010, beginning with the No. 3-peaking "Misery Business," its top-charting entry on the ranking.
- Chart Beat