Lady Antebellum  logs its highest debut among its 15 career entries on Billboard's Country Songs radio airplay chart, as "Just a Kiss" soars in at No. 28. The song opens with a first-week audience of 6 million on 85 stations, according to Nielsen BDS.
The group performed the song Thursday (May 5) on "American Idol." ("I sat in Jennifer Lopez 's judges chair last night at American Idol rehearsals. Technically our butt's have touched... just saying," Kelley Tweeted  Thursday).
The ballad's bow marks the third-highest debut among groups since Country Songs adopted BDS-monitored data the week of Jan. 20, 1990. Rascal Flatts ' "Take Me There" opened at No. 24 July 24, 2007, and Sugarland 's "All I Want to Do" launched at No. 27 June 7, 2008. Both tracks went on to top the tally ("Take" for three weeks and "All" for one frame).
Lady Antebellum - Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott - have notched six Country Songs top 10s, including four No. 1s, since its arrival the week of Oct. 20, 2007, with "Love Don't Live Here," which peaked at No. 3 in June 2008. The trio subsequently led with "I Run to You" (one week) and "Need You Now" (five weeks) in 2009 and "American Honey" and "Our Kind of Love" (two weeks each) in 2010.
"Need You Now" won four Grammy Awards in February, including record and song of the year.
"Kiss" previews the group's forthcoming third studio album.
"The day we wrote this song was one of those days that renewed my faith in the bond the three of us have as songwriters," says Kelley . "It came so easily and it reminded me of the early days when we first started out, and we'd spend hours in my brother Josh 's house writing songs.
"Everyone keeps asking if we feel pressure after the success of 'Need You Now' and we are trying to not even think about the new album or these songs in those terms. We are just writing about what we are going through in our lives and we hope that country music fans continue to connect with them."
In addition to its strong start on Country Songs, "Kiss" is expected to make lofty debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 and Digital Songs rankings when all charts are released Thursday (May 12) on Billboard.com.
- Chart Beat