Darius Rucker Claims First Country Airplay No. 1 Since 2013

Darius Rucker photographed on June 11, 2017 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.
Eric Ryan Anderson

Darius Rucker photographed on June 11, 2017 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. 

Darius Rucker's "If I Told You" ascends 2-1 in its 47th week on Billboard's Country Airplay chart (dated June 24), increasing 5 percent to 44.1 million audience impressions in the week ending June 11, according to Nielsen Music.

The song is Rucker's seventh Country Airplay No. 1 and first since "Wagon Wheel" crowned the chart dated April 13, 2013. "I have believed in this song so much, ever since I first heard the work tape from the writers of the song, Ross Copperman, Shane McAnally and Jon Nite," Rucker tells Billboard. "It feels awesome to watch a song you believe in so much have this kind of reach and connection. That feeling never gets old. It's also happening as I'm finishing my [next] studio album, so to have this kind of support at country radio and have a No. 1 off the album before it's even released this fall is pretty humbling."

"If I Told You" is one of only five songs to take at least 47 weeks to reach No. 1 in the Country Airplay chart's 27-year history. "I wasn't a fan of the song initially, but it grew on me," acknowledges KKBQ Houston program director Johnny Chiang. "It took a while for it to research with listeners as well. But once it took off, it really took off. Of late, it's been a top tester."

Hootie & The Blowfish frontman Rucker first led Country Airplay with his debut single at the format, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," for two weeks beginning Oct. 4, 2008. He followed with "It Won't Be Like This for Long" (three weeks, March 28, 2009), "Alright" (one, Aug. 15, 2009), "Come Back Song" (two, Nov. 6, 2010) and "This" (one, April 30, 2011).

THIS ONE'S FOR COMBS: On Top Country Albums, Luke Combs' debut full-length LP, This One's for You, arrives at No. 1, earning 43,000 equivalent album units in its launch week (35,000 in traditional sales). On the all-genre Billboard 200, it starts at No. 5. The set, with all 12 tracks co-written by Combs, expands upon his same-named EP, which entered the Top Country Albums chart dated Dec. 19, 2015, at No. 36 with 2,000 sold.

"Hurricane," the first single from This One's for You, topped Country Airplay for two weeks (May 27 and June 3) and peaked at No. 3 on Hot Country Songs (May 6). Sophomore single "When It Rains It Pours" will impact radio on June 19.

Combs' No. 1 debut on Top Country Albums is the first since RaeLynn's Wildhorse (April 15; 20,000 units) and the first by a solo male since Kane Brown's self-titled full-length (Dec. 24, 2016; 45,000).

HUNT ACCELERATES: Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road" ties for the third-longest reign -- 18 weeks -- on Hot Country Songs, which blends airplay, sales and streaming data. It's the longest rule since Florida Georgia Line's "H.O.L.Y." led for 18 weeks in 2016. FGL's "Cruise" holds the record with 24 weeks at No. 1 in 2012 and 2013, followed by Leroy Van Dyke's "Walk On By" (19 weeks, 1961-62); thus, with one more week on top, "Road" will match "Walk" for the longest command for a song by a solo male.

"Road" rules Country Streaming Songs (15.8 million U.S. streams, down 2 percent) and Country Digital Song Sales (47,000 downloads sold, down 5 percent) for an 18th week each. It logs an 11th week in the Country Airplay top five, holding at No. 3 (39 million in audience, down 2 percent) after leading for three weeks.

NEW TOP 10s: Hot Country Songs welcomes two new top 10s. Dylan Scott's "My Girl" pushes 11-9, becoming his first top 10. It rolls on the strength of its 8 percent growth to 31.2 million impressions and rises 10-9 on Country Airplay.

Plus, Blake Shelton banks his 28th Hot Country Songs top 10: "Every Time I Hear That Song" darts 12-10. The move is sparked by the song's 11 percent boost to 36.5 million, as it lifts 8-6 on Country Airplay, and 40 percent surge to 9,000 sold, spurring a No. 20 re-entry on Country Digital Song Sales after he performed the song on June 7 at the 2017 CMT Music Awards.

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