FGL, Sturgill Simpson Sail to No. 1 on Country Charts; Marie Osmond Returns to Top 10

Florida Georgia Line
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Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line perform onstage at the 49th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 4, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Florida Georgia Line's "Confession" crowns Billboard's Country Airplay chart (dated May 7), lifting 2-1, up 4 percent to 44.8 million audience impressions in the tracking week ending April 24, according to Nielsen Music.

Penned by Rodney Clawson, Ross Copperman and Matt Jenkins, "Confession" marks a milestone for the duo of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard. The fifth single from FGL's sophomore album, Anything Goes, is the pair's fourth to top Country Airplay, following "Sippin' on Fire" (June 20, 2015), "Sun Daze" (Feb. 28, 2015) and "Dirt" (Oct. 25, 2014). (The title-track fourth single peaked at No. 3 in October.)

Florida Georgia Line's first full studio set, Here's to the Good Times, also produced four Country Airplay leaders (2012-14), matching the record for the most No. 1s from a debut major label album, previously set by Brooks & Dunn (Brand New Man, 1991-92) and Zac Brown Band (The Foundation, 2008-10).

Now, FGL joins ZBB as the only two acts to accomplish four Country Airplay chart-toppers from each of their first two albums. ZBB's second full-length, You Get What You Give, produced the No. 1s "As She's Walking Away" (featuring Alan Jackson), "Colder Weather," "Knee Deep" (featuring Jimmy Buffett) and "Keep Me in Mind" (2010-11).

"It still feels like a dream to us and we're humbled," FGL's Kelley tells Billboard. "'Confession' is in our hearts and we are thankful it had a chance to be a single and have an impact. It really opens the door for what we've got coming on [April 29]."

"This is an amazing achievement and it couldn't happen to nicer people," adds Big Machine Label Group executive vp and Republic Records president Jimmy Harnen. "On the eve of launching their debut single from their third LP, FGL continues to lead the pack."

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Wait ... what was that about April 29 and a new single and album? While not divulging the exact date, Harnen told Billboard that the duo's third album will arrive in late summer.

KKBQ Houston PD Johnny Chiang feels that Florida Georgia Line gave radio something fresh with "Confession." "FGL is one of the acts to pioneer a new sound, yet they've managed to mature, as well," he tells Billboard. "While their music always performs with younger demos, this one also fared well with the older end of our audience."

'T' IS FOR TOP 10: As Dierks Bentley's "Somewhere on a Beach" leads Billboard's hybrid Hot Country Songs chart, which encompasses airplay, digital sales and streaming, for a second week, Thomas Rhett's "T-Shirt" enters the top 10 (12-9). "T-Shirt" is sparked by a 14 percent increase on Country Airplay, where it also reaches the top 10 (14-10; 28.5 million, up 13 percent). The track zooms 10-4 on Country Digital Songs (25,000 downloads sold; up 16 percent) and 10-5 on Country Streaming Songs (2.3 million U.S. streams, up 14 percent). "T-Shirt" is Rhett's sixth Hot Country Songs top 10 and seventh Country Airplay top 10.

Also on Country Airplay, Luke Bryan's "Huntin', Fishin' & Lovin' Every Day" becomes his 21st top 10 (12-9; 30 million, up 10 percent).

SIMPSON SAILS TO NO. 1: On Top Country Albums, Americana singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson tops the survey for the first time as Sailor's Guide to Earth bows with 52,000 in its opening week. It also starts at No. 1 on Top Current Albums, Top Rock Albums and Folk Albums. Simpson's third appearance on Top Country Albums follows his No. 31-peaking 2014 debut, High Top Mountain, and 2015's Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (No. 8).

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MARIE'S NEW 'MUSIC': Marie Osmond achieves her first solo top 10 on the Top Country Albums chart in more than 41 years as Music Is Medicine enters at No. 10 (4,000). She posts her first solo entry since 1989's No. 68-peaking Steppin' Stone and first top 10 since 1974's In My Little Corner of the World (No. 10). Osmond tallied one top 10 since with brother Donny: 2011's Donny & Marie opened and peaked at No. 7 (16,000).

This article first appeared in Billboard's Country Update -- sign up here.


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