Chart Beat

Gabby Barrett's 'I Hope' Is Third-Longest-Leading No. 1 in Hot Country Songs History

Gabby Barrett
Robby Klein

Gabby Barrett

The crossover smash reigns for a 25th week.

Gabby Barrett's "I Hope" tops Billboard's airplay-, sales- and streaming-based Hot Country Songs chart for a 25th week (on the survey dated Jan. 30), pushing in front of Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" for sole possession of the third-longest reign since the chart began as an all-encompassing genre ranking in October 1958.

"Cruise," FGL's debut single, dominated for 24 frames in 2012-13.

FGL maintains the record for the longest Hot Country Songs command, as "Meant to Be," with Bebe Rexha, ruled for a record 50 weeks in 2017-18. Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road" ranks second with 34 weeks at No. 1 in 2017.

"Hope" holds in the penthouse with 52 million in all-format airplay audience in the tracking week ending Jan. 24, according to MRC Data. It also attracted 8.4 million U.S. streams and 3,000 sold in the week ending Jan. 21.

The four titles above also topped the Country Airplay chart and padded their Hot Country Songs dominations thanks in part to pop crossover airplay, with "Hope" benefiting beyond the country radio format from its remix with Charlie Puth.

Meanwhile, Barrett's sophomore single "The Good Ones" pushes 21-18 on Country Airplay (11.1 million, up 13%). On Hot Country Songs, it jumps 31-25, also with 4.8 million streams (up 5%) and 4,000 sold (up 6%).

TWO IS "BETTER" THAN ONE Luke Combs' record-extending 10th consecutive career-opening Country Airplay No. 1 (encompassing his properly promoted singles) "Better Together" leads for a second week, up 14% to 33.1 million impressions.

The song commands an audience lead of 8.9 million over Kenny Chesney's "Happy Does," which rises 4-2 with a 6% gain to 24.2 million. That marks the second-biggest weekly points disparity between the Nos. 1 and 2 titles since Country Airplay launched in January 1990.

The biggest variance occurred on the chart dated Aug. 19, 2017, when Billy Currington's "Do I Make You Wanna" sported 47.5 million and Cole Swindell's "Flatliner" ranked at No. 2 with 38 million, making for a difference of 9.5 million.

"WAY" UP Parmalee and Blanco Brown's "Just the Way" reaches the Country Airplay top 10, climbing 12-8 (20.2 million, up 17%).

Parmalee adds its fourth top 10 on the chart and first since "Already Callin' You Mine" hit No. 10 in December 2015. The band scored its lone leader with "Carolina" in December 2013.

Brown banks his first Country Airplay top 10 in his second appearance, after "The Git Up" peaked at No. 44 in August 2019. His breakthrough hit, aided by a viral dance challenge, ruled Hot Country Songs for 12 weeks.

"COUNTRY" AIRPLAY Thomas Rhett scores his 18th Country Airplay top 10, a sum that includes 15 No. 1s, as "What's Your Country Song" bumps 11-9 (19.9 million, up 15%). Rhett last reached the region with "Be a Light," featuring Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin and Keith Urban (No. 2, last September).

McGRAW & HUBBARD HIT No. 1 Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard's "Undivided" enters Hot Country Songs at No. 23. Released Jan. 13, the song sold 19,000 in its first full tracking week (ending Jan. 21) and climbs 4-1 on Country Digital Song Sales, marking McGraw's fifth No. 1 and Hubbard's first.

"Undivided" is Hubbard's first chart entry outside of duo Florida Georgia Line (with Brian Kelley), which has netted 10 No. 1s on the sales survey. The song also drew 5.9 million airplay audience impressions and 1.9 million streams in the tracking week.

McGraw and Hubbard performed the collab on the Tom Hanks-hosted special Celebrating America, which aired Jan. 20 across ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and NBC to commemorate the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.