Scotty McCreery Tops Country Airplay, Riley Green Claims First Top 10, Brooks & Dunn and George Strait Return

Scotty McCreery
Jeff Ray

Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery notches his second No. 1 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart, as "This Is It" ascends 2-1 in its 37th week (on the chart dated Feb. 16). The ballad gained by 8 percent to 39.6 million audience impressions in the week ending Feb. 10, according to Nielsen Music. On the airplay-, streaming- and sales-blended Hot Country Songs chart, it enters the top five (6-4).

McCreery co-authored the song, with Frank Rogers and Aaron Eshuis, for his then-longtime girlfriend Gabi Dugal, and sang it at their wedding last June 16. "Two weeks before I proposed, we wrote 'This Is It' as a love song for Gabi," McCreery tells Billboard. "It's our story. If the song existed solely for she and I, that would be completely fine with me. But to have our story on the radio and then reach No. 1 on the Billboard chart just makes my heart sing. Gabi is my world, she inspires me every day, and I think people can feel the realness of our love story when they listen to the song and watch the video. The fact that so many couples are now using 'This' in their own weddings gives me chills."

McCreery, who won American Idol in 2011, earns his second Country Airplay leader in a row from his album Seasons Change, which became his third Top Country Albums No. 1 in March 2018. He notched his first Country Airplay No. 1 with the album's first single, "Five More Minutes," which led for a week the same month.

NEW TOP 10s Jordan Davis notches his second Hot Country Songs top 10, as "Take It From Me" strides 11-9, fueled heavily by its performance on Country Airplay, where lifts 7-5, up 10 percent to 29.1 million impressions.

Riley Green earns his first Country Airplay top 10 as his debut single "There Was This Girl" hops 11-9 (21 million impressions, up 6 percent). "Girl" is from Green's EP In a Truck Right Now, released in June 2018. A full-album is expected later this year.

Plus, Michael Ray nets his third top Country Airplay 10 as "One That Got Away"  rises 12-10 (20.1 million, up 6 percent).

'BRAND NEW' REMAKE With guest Luke Combs, Brooks & Dunn return to Country Airplay with a new version of the twosome's first of 20 No. 1s – a record among duos – as "Brand New Man" bows at No. 49, the chart's highest opener (1.7 million impressions). The original "Man," Brooks & Dunn's launch single, led for two weeks in 1991, becoming the first of four straight leaders for the twosome.

The reimagined "Man" marks the first Country Airplay appearance for Brooks & Dunn since their collaboration with Mac Powell, "Over the Next Hill," which peaked at No. 55 in 2010. In 2016, Ronnie Dunn's "Damn Drunk," featuring Kix Brooks, reached No. 36.

"Man" is the first single from Brooks & Dunn's album Reboot (due April 5), which finds the pair remaking their greatest hits with next-generation stars, including Kane Brown, Kacey Musgraves and Brothers Osborne. The set is their first of newly-recorded material since 2007's Cowboy Town, which reached No. 4 on Top Country Albums.

STRAIT RETURNS, TOO Fellow format cornerstone George Strait also debuts new music, as "God and Country Music" becomes his 122nd entry on Hot Country Songs, debuting at No. 36. It enters Country Digital Song Sales at No. 4 (7,000 downloads sold), becoming his highest-charting entry and third top 10, following "Let's Go" (No. 9, 2015) and "Give It All We Got Tonight" (No. 8, 2013).

Strait charts on Hot Country Songs for the first time in three years, after he'd graced the survey every year between 1981 and 2016. He had last appeared with the No. 36-peakning "Cold Beer Conversation."

"God" is from Strait's 30th studio album, Honky Tonk Time Machine, due March 29.


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