Mile 17: Sam Hunt's 'Road' Still On Top of Multiple Country Song Charts

Sam Hunt performs onstage during the 52nd Academy Of Country Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Sam Hunt performs onstage during the 52nd Academy Of Country Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas.  

Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road" continues its domination on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart (dated June 17), expanding its reign to 17 weeks.

"Body," which Hunt co-wrote for his fiancée, Hannah Lee Fowler, debuted on the multimetric list (which blends airplay, sales and streaming data) at No. 2 on Feb. 18. It ascended to No. 1 the following week (Feb. 25) and has locked down the summit ever since.

"Body" concurrently tops Country Streaming Songs and Country Digital Song Sales for a 17th week each. It rules the former with 16.2 million U.S. streams (down 1 percent) in the week ending June 1, according to Nielsen Music, and the latter with 50,000 downloads sold (down 5 percent). On Country Airplay, where it led for three weeks (May 6, 13 and 20), "Road" rolls for a 10th week in the top five, holding at No. 3 (39.9 million audience impressions, down 3 percent).

"Body" has become a crossover hit as well, reaching No. 6 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 (April 22), marking the first country song to reach the chart's top 10 since Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise," which rose to No. 4 on July 6, 2013. "Road" rises 18-16 on the Adult Top 40 airplay chart and 29-27 on Mainstream Top 40.

With 17 weeks atop Hot Country Songs, "Body" ties Thomas Rhett's "Die a Happy Man," which first led the list dated Nov. 14, 2015, for the fourth-longest reign since the tally began as an all-encompassing genre ranking in 1958. "Cruise" leads with 24 weeks at No. 1 in 2012 and 2013, followed by Leroy Van Dyke's "Walk on By" (19 weeks in 1961-62) and FGL's "H.O.L.Y" (18 weeks, 2016).

'CASE' STUDY: Brett Young's "In Case You Didn't Know" crowns Country Airplay for a second week, increasing by 2 percent to 47.1 million audience impressions. On Hot Country Songs, it ranks at its No. 2 peak for an eighth straight week. It also places at No. 2 on Country Streaming Songs (9.1 million, essentially even week over week) and Country Digital Song Sales (41,000, down 11 percent).

COUNTRY 'CLUB': Thanks to the 50th-anniversary release of The Beatles' iconic 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the set returns to the Billboard 200 at No. 3 with 75,000 equivalent album units. It's the highest rank for the former 15-week No. 1 since the Dec. 30, 1967-dated chart.

As the rerelease stirs renewed interest in the Fab Four, it's noteworthy to mention that the group has made a sizable impact on the country genre. Among its most notable efforts was the 1995 album Come Together: America Salutes the Beatles. The LP, which peaked at No. 13 on Top Country Albums, includes covers by Kris Kristofferson ("Paperback Writer"), Little Texas ("Help!"), Willie Nelson ("One After 909"), Tanya Tucker ("Something") and Steve Wariner ("Get Back"), among others.

Before that, 1989 brought two Beatles remakes to the Hot Country Songs top 10. In March, duo Sweethearts of the Rodeo, aka sisters Janis Oliver and Kristine Arnold, reached No. 9 with their version of "I Feel Fine." That September, Rosanne Cash scored her 11th Hot Country Songs No. 1 with her take on "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party."

It has worked the other way around, too. In 1965, The Beatles released their rendition of "Act Naturally," with Ringo Starr on lead vocals. The song was originally a Buck Owens hit that topped the Hot Country Songs chart dated June 15, 1963, marking his first of 21 leaders. Also in 1989 (a year after The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), Owens and Starr united for an update of "Naturally," which rose to No. 27 on Hot Country Songs.


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