The Decade in Country Charts: 'Meant to Be' Is Top Song, Chris Stapleton's 'Traveller' Is Top Album

ISSUE 28 2018 - NOT OUT YET - DO NOT USE!!! OUT DEC. 13, 2018
Eric Ryan Anderson
Bebe Rexha (center) and Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line photographed on Nov. 13, 2018 at Wilburn Street Tavern in Nashville. 

FGL, meanwhile, boasts three of the 2010s top five songs.

Billboard's top Hot Country Songs chart hit of the 2010s is Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line's "Meant to Be," while the No. 1 set of the decade on Top Country Albums is Chris Stapleton's Traveller.

In a genre that has always evolved, country in the 2010s featured a host of sounds atop the charts, from traditional to "bro-country" to, at the moment, a noticeable trend of "boyfriend country."

The decade also brought collaborations with artists known beyond the genre, from core pop act Rexha to Backstreet Boys, Demi Lovato and P!nk, among others, while much discussion centered on a historic downturn in the number of women on country airwaves.

At the decade's end, we've compiled 30 charts encompassing the 2010s, including those covering all-genre streaming, radio airplay and song sales; all-genre social and touring activity; and the top songs and albums in country, rock, R&B/hip-hop, Latin, Christian, gospel and dance/electronic. (See below for decade-end chart methodologies.)

SING IT, BEBE

Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line (the duo of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard) claim the No. 1 spot on the decade-end Hot Country Songs chart. Their collaboration spent a record-shattering 50 weeks atop the streaming-, airplay- and sales-based tally, dating to the list's start as an all-encompassing genre songs survey in 1958.

"Meant" debuted atop Hot Country Songs on the chart dated Dec. 16, 2017, and passed prior record-holder Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road," which ruled for 34 weeks in 2017.

"I'm grateful to be able to create music that allows me to push limits and push myself," Rexha told Billboard when the song surpassed Hunt's reign. "I'm grateful for all the love and warmth from the country community."

Hunt's "Back Road" is the No. 2 song on Hot Country Songs for the 2010s, and remains the second-longest-leading hit in the chart's history.

The Nos. 3 and 5 songs of the decade also belong to FGL. The duo's debut smash "Cruise" ranks at No. 3 and "H.O.L.Y" holds the No. 5 spot. "Cruise" became the act's first Hot Country Songs leader in December 2012, commanding the chart for a then-record 24 weeks (now the third-longest domination of all time). "H.O.L.Y." commanded Hot Country Songs for 18 weeks in 2016.

Another duo owns the decade's No. 4 track, Dan + Shay's "Tequila." The song led Hot Country Songs for two weeks in July 2018, while spending 66 weeks on the chart overall, tied with "Cruise" for the second most, after the 71-week run of "Meant to Be."

STAPLETON'S CMAs BREAKTHROUGH

Chris Stapleton's Traveller wraps the 2010s as the top title on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart.

The album debuted at No. 2 on the survey in May 2015 and led at last in its 27th week that November, and spent 29 total weeks at No. 1. Sparking the set's coronation, Stapleton won big at the 2015 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards that Nov. 4, taking home trophies for male vocalist, new artist and album of the year, for Traveller. He also performed a medley with Justin Timberlake of Traveller track "Tennessee Whiskey" and Timberlake's "Drink You Away."

"Tennessee Whiskey" also benefitted from the telecast, awarding Stapleton his first No. 1 on Hot Country Songs, where it became the first entry ever to re-enter at the summit. To date, Traveller has spent 235 weeks on Top Country Albums.

The decade's No. 2 set on Top Country Albums is Sam Hunt's lone full-length so far, Montevallo, which debuted at No. 1 on the chart in 2014 and reigned for nine frames (among 247 total chart weeks so far). Setting the stage for the stand-alone "Body Like a Back Road" in 2017, the LP produced five hits, including three Hot Country Songs No. 1s: "Leave the Night On," "Take Your Time" and "House Party."

The No. 3 title on Top Country Albums for the decade is FGL's Here's to the Good Times, the duo's 2012 debut release, which led for 10 weeks beginning in 2013 (and has banked 243 total chart weeks to date).

The Nos. 4 and 5 spots on the decade's Top Country Albums survey are held by two guys named Luke. Luke Bryan's Crash My Party is No. 4, while Luke Combs' first LP, This One's for You, is No. 5. The former spent 13 weeks at No.1 beginning in 2013, while the latter, released in 2017 (with a deluxe version having arrived a year later), has collected a record-tying 50 weeks at No. 1, matching the reign of Shania Twain's 1997 LP Come On Over for the most in the chart's nearly 56-year history.

TOP ARTISTS: STAY TUNED!

For overall Top Artists and genre-specific artist recaps, including Top Country Artists, acts ranked Nos. 11 through 50 on each are viewable in our decade-end charts menu, while those at Nos. 10 through 6 will be revealed monthly leading up to the Billboard Music Awards, airing live on NBC on April 29, 2020, when No. 1 for each category will be announced from among five remaining finalists.

How We Charted the Decade: Billboard's decade-end recaps encompass chart performance from Dec. 5, 2009, through Sept. 28, 2019 (except for those for the Social 50, which began on Dec. 11, 2010, and Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and Streaming Songs, each of which launched on Jan. 26, 2013).

On the decade-end Hot Country Songs and Top Country Albums recaps, titles are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 on weekly charts earning the greatest value and weeks at lower positions earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology and title turnover rates over the decade, certain periods were weighted differently.

Top Artists recaps are ranked based on a formula blending performance, as outlined above, of all their chart entries. Specifically, the overall Top Artists category ranks the best-performing artists based on activity on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and the Billboard 200 albums tally, as well as social media data and touring revenue from Billboard Boxscore, while genre-focused Top Artists rankings blend acts' decade-spanning performance on each genre's main song and album charts (such as, for country, Hot Country Songs and Top Country Albums).

Billboard's decade-end touring charts are based on Billboard Boxscore data for performances between Dec. 1, 2009, and Sept. 30, 2019.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.